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Who Deserves Aid? Equality of Opportunity, International Aid, and Poverty Reduction


  • Cogneau, Denis
  • Naudet, Jean-David


(english) We build and implement a normative procedure to allocate international aid based on equality of opportunity concerning the risk of poverty. This is an alternative to Collier and Dollar’s proposal (2001) which stresses the impact of aid on worldwide poverty reduction. The big problem with their approach, as regards distributive justice, is that it leaves very great inequality in poverty risk between inhabitants of countries with widely varying structural disadvantages. We draw on post-welfarist theories of social justice, especially those of John Roemer. However our proposal is very different to that of Llavador and Roemer (2001), which has serious methodological errors and reaches contradictory conclusions. Our proposed allocations, like those of Collier and Dollar, differ from current aid allocation by giving more to the poorest countries. Apart from this agreement, our equality of opportunity principle takes account of structural disadvantages to growth rather than quality of past policies. Our kind of allocation shares out poverty risks much more fairly among the world’s population, while reducing global poverty almost as effectively as Collier and Dollar's. _________________________________ (français) Nous élaborons et mettons en oeuvre une procédure normative d’allocation de l’aide internationale entre les pays, fondée sur le principe de l’égalité des chances vis-à-vis du risque de pauvreté. Cette procédure constitue une alternative à celle de Collier et Dollar (2001) qui maximise l’impact de l’aide sur la réduction de la pauvreté dans le monde. Du point de vue de la justice distributive, l’allocation de Collier et Dollar présente en effet l’inconvénient majeur de laisser subsister de très larges inégalités de risques de pauvreté entre des individus vivant dans des pays dont les handicaps structurels sont très différents. Notre travail s’inspire des théories « post-welfaristes » de la justice sociale, et en particulier de l’approche de John Roemer. Il
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  • Cogneau, Denis & Naudet, Jean-David, 2007. "Who Deserves Aid? Equality of Opportunity, International Aid, and Poverty Reduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 104-120, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:35:y:2007:i:1:p:104-120

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. McGillivray, Mark, 2004. "Descriptive and prescriptive analyses of aid allocation: Approaches, issues, and consequences," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 275-292.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2008. "Adapting Aid Allocation Criteria to Development Goals," Working Papers P01, FERDI.
    2. Julia Cage, 2015. "Measuring Policy Performance: Can We Do Better than the World Bank?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5su81hd0ma8, Sciences Po.
    3. Carrieri, V. & Jones, M.A., 2016. "Inequality of opportunity in health: a decomposition-based approach," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Sergio Tezanos Vázquez, 2009. "Geopolítica de la ayuda ¿Cómo optimizar el impacto de la ayuda sobre el crecimiento?," Documentos de trabajo sobre cooperación y desarrollo 200903, Cátedra de Cooperación Internacional y con Iberoamérica (COIBA), Universidad de Cantabria.
    5. Bourguignon, François & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2017. "Does Aid Availability Affect Effectiveness in Reducing Poverty? A Review Article," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 6-16.
    6. Denis COGNEAU, 2012. "The Political Dimension Of Inequality During Economic Development," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 35, pages 11-36.
    7. Lidia Ceriani & Paolo Verme, 2014. "The Income Lever and the Allocation of Aid," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(11), pages 1510-1522, November.
    8. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Phu NGUYEN-VAN & Thi Kim Cuong PHAM & Laurent WAGNER, 2015. "Efficient and fair allocation of aid," Working Papers 3937, FERDI.
    9. Fowler, A.F. & Biekart, K., 2011. "Civic driven change: a narrative to bring politics back into civil society discourse," ISS Working Papers - General Series 529, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    10. Wood, Adrian, 2008. "Looking Ahead Optimally in Allocating Aid," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1135-1151, July.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4302 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    13. McGillivray, Mark, 2006. "Aid Allocation and Fragile States," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2006/01, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Feeny, Simon & de Silva, Ashton, 2012. "Measuring absorptive capacity constraints to foreign aid," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 725-733.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement


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