Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Illusion of Sustainability

Contents:

Author Info

  • Michael Kremer

    ()

  • Edward Miguel

Abstract

The history of foreign development assistance is one of movement away from addressing immediate needs to a focus on the underlying causes of poverty. A recent manifestation is the move towards “sustainability,” which stresses community mobilization, education, and cost-recovery. This stands in contrast to the traditional economic analysis of development projects, with its focus on providing public goods and correcting externalities. We examine evidence from randomized evaluations on strategies for combating intestinal worms, which affect one in four people worldwide. Providing medicine to treat worms was extremely cost effective, although medicine must be provided twice per year indefinitely to keep children worm-free. An effort to promote sustainability by educating Kenyan schoolchildren on worm prevention was ineffective, and a “mobilization” intervention from psychology failed to boost de-worming drug take-up. Take-up was highly sensitive to drug cost: a small increase in cost led to an 80percent reduction in take-up (relative to free treatment). The results suggest that, in the context we examine, the pursuit of sustainability may be an illusion, and that in the short-run, at least, external subsidies will remain necessary.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/2756
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 35.

as in new window
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:35

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.cgdev.org

Related research

Keywords: foreign development assistance; poverty; sustainability; public good; externality; subsidy;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Wilson, L. S., 1992. "The Harambee movement and efficient public good provision in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-19, June.
  2. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  4. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2005. "Learning about a new technology: pineapple in Ghana," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
  6. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
  7. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran, 2002. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," CEPR Discussion Papers 3341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. William Easterly, 2002. "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550423, December.
  10. Jennifer Smith & Alan Gerber & Anton Orlich, 2003. "Self-prophecy effects and voter turnout: An experimental replication," Natural Field Experiments 00333, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  12. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  13. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Defined Contribution Pensions: Plan Rules, Participant Decisions, and the Path of Least Resistance," JCPR Working Papers 257, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  14. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  15. Michael Kremer & Sylvie Moulin & Robert Namunyu, 2003. "Decentralization: A cautionary tale," Natural Field Experiments 00290, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  17. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  18. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
  19. Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model Of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82, February.
  20. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  21. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2003. "Networks, social learning, and technology adoption: The case of deworming drugs in kenya," Natural Field Experiments 00312, The Field Experiments Website.
  22. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  23. Esther Dufluo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  24. McPake, Barbara, 1993. "User charges for health services in developing countries: A review of the economic literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1397-1405, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:35. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Roodman) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask David Roodman to update the entry or send us the correct address.

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.