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Making Aid Work

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Author Info

  • Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee

    ()
    (MIT)

  • Alice H. Amsden

    ()
    (MIT)

  • Robert H. Bates

    ()
    (Harvard University)

  • Jagdish Bhagwati

    ()
    (Columbia University)

  • Angus Deaton

    ()
    (Princeton University)

  • Nicholas Stern

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

With more than a billion people now living on less than a dollar a day, and with eight million dying each year because they are simply too poor to live, most would agree that the problem of global poverty is our greatest moral challenge. The large and pressing practical question is how best to address that challenge. Although millions of dollars flow to poor countries, the results are often disappointing. In Making Aid Work, Abhijit Banerjee--an "aid optimist"--argues that aid has much to contribute, but the lack of analysis about which programs really work causes considerable waste and inefficiency, which in turn fuels unwarranted pessimism about the role of aid in fostering economic development. Banerjee challenges aid donors to do better. Building on the model used to evaluate new drugs before they come on the market, he argues that donors should assess programs with field experiments using randomized trials. In fact, he writes, given the number of such experiments already undertaken, current levels of development assistance could focus entirely on programs with proven records of success in experimental conditions. Responding to his challenge, leaders in the field--including Nicholas Stern, Raymond Offenheiser, Alice Amsden, Ruth Levine, Angus Deaton, and others--question whether randomized trials are the most appropriate way to evaluate success for all programs. They raise broader questions as well, about the importance of aid for economic development and about the kinds of interventions (micro or macro, political or economic) that will lead to real improvements in the lives of poor people around the world. With one in every six people now living in extreme poverty, getting it right is crucial.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 0262026155 and published in 2007.

Volume: 1
Edition: 1
ISBN: 0-262-02615-5
Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262026155

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

Related research

Keywords: aid; economic development; poverty;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matthew Morris & Jonathan Pryke, 2011. "Beyond Paris: 11 innovations in aid effectiveness," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1110, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  2. Gisselquist, Rachel M. & Nino-Zarazua, Miguel, 2013. "What can experiments tell us about how to improve governance?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. J. Dees, 2012. "A Tale of Two Cultures: Charity, Problem Solving, and the Future of Social Entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(3), pages 321-334, December.
  4. Sawada, Yasuyuki & Shoji, Masahiro & Sugawara, Shinya & Shinkai, Naoko, 2009. "The Role of Infrastructure in Mitigating Poverty Dynamics: The Case of an Irrigation Project in Sri Lanka," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51461, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Bruhn, Miriam & McKenzie, David, 2008. "In pursuit of balance : randomization in practice in development field experiments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4752, The World Bank.
  6. Todo, Yasuyuki, 2011. "Impacts of Aid-Funded Technical Assistance Programs: Firm-Level Evidence from the Indonesian Foundry Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 351-362, March.
  7. Cadot, Olivier & Fernandes, Ana M. & Gourdon, Julien & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2011. "Impact evaluation of trade interventions : paving the way," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5877, The World Bank.
  8. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2010. "Giving Credit Where It Is Due," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 61-80, Summer.
  9. Peter Boone & Alex Eble & Diana Elbourne, 2013. "Risk and Evidence of Bias in Randomized Controlled Trials in Economics," CEP Discussion Papers dp1240, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Maredia, Mywish K., 2009. "Improving the proof: Evolution of and emerging trends in impact assessment methods and approaches in agricultural development," IFPRI discussion papers 929, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Olofsgård, Anders, 2012. "The Politics of Aid Effectiveness: Why Better Tools can Make for Worse Outcomes," SITE Working Paper Series 16, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics.

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