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

  • Cogneau, Denis
  • Naudet, Jean-David

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.

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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. Thibault Gajdos & Eric Maurin, 2002. "Unequal uncertainties and uncertain inequalities: an axiomatic approach," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 15-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research, revised Mar 2003.
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  10. 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.
  11. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Dirk Van de gaer & Michel Martinez & Erik Schokkaert, 1998. "Measuring Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9810, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  14. 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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  23. repec:rus:hseeco:72137 is not listed on IDEAS
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  29. Collier, Paul & Dehn, Jan, 2001. "Aid, shocks, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2688, The World Bank.
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