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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 104-120

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:35:y:2007:i:1:p:104-120
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Dirk Van de gaer; & Michel Martinez; & Erik Schokkaert, 1998. "Measuring Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n780598, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  2. Gajdos, Thibault & Maurin, Eric, 2004. "Unequal uncertainties and uncertain inequalities: an axiomatic approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 93-118, May.
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  4. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
  5. P. Guillaumont & L. Chauvet, 2001. "Aid and Performance: A Reassessment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 66-92.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  7. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2001. "Can the World Cut Poverty in Half? How Policy Reform and Effective Aid Can Meet International Development Goals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1787-1802, November.
  8. C-J. Dalgaard & H. Hansen, 2001. "On Aid, Growth and Good Policies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 17-41.
  9. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  10. repec:rus:hseeco:72137 is not listed on IDEAS
  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.
  12. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2004. "On The Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages 191-216, 06.
  13. Llavador, Humberto G. & Roemer, John E., 2001. "An equal-opportunity approach to the allocation of international aid," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 147-171, February.
  14. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay, 2004. "Governance Indicators, Aid Allocation, and the Millennium Challenge Account," Development and Comp Systems 0405013, EconWPA.
  15. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  16. Nancy Birdsall & Stijn Claessens & Ishac Diwan, 2003. "Policy Selectivity Forgone: Debt and Donor Behavior in Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 409-435, December.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  18. Van de Gaer, Dirk & Schokkaert, Erik & Martinez, Michel, 2001. "Three Meanings of Intergenerational Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 519-537, November.
  19. David Roodman, 2007. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-Country Empirics," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 255-277, May.
  20. Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Aid dependence and the quality of governance : a cross-country empirical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2396, The World Bank.
  21. Mark McGillivray, 2003. "Modelling Aid Allocation: Issues, Approaches And Results," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 171-188, June.
  22. Jeff Dayton-Johnson & John Hoddinott, 2003. "Aid, policies and growth, redux," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive redux2, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  23. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Tichit, Ariane, 2004. "Bilateral donors' aid allocation decisions--a three-dimensional panel analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 253-274.
  24. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
  25. Jean-Pierre Cling & Philippe De Vreyer & Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud, 2003. "La croissance ne suffit pas pour réduire la pauvreté : le rôle des inégalités," Working Papers DT/2003/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  26. Collier, Paul & Dehn, Jan, 2001. "Aid, shocks, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2688, The World Bank.
  27. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 2004. "Aid, policies, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3251, The World Bank.
  28. Roemer, J.E., 1989. "Distributing Health: The Allocationof Resources by an International Agency," Research Paper 71, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
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