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Development and Social Goals: Balancing Aid and Development to Prevent ‘Welfare Colonialism’

  • Erik S. Reinert

The current development policy focus on poverty reduction is erroneous. Historically, successful development policy—from the late fifteenth century until the beginning of the twenty-first—has achieved structural change away from dependence on raw materials and agriculture, adding specialized manufacturing and services subject to increasing returns with a complex division of labour. In contrast, the Millennium Development Goals are heavily biased in favour of palliative economics: alleviating the symptoms of poverty, rather than attacking its real causes. This creates a system of ‘welfare colonialism’ increasing the dependence of poor countries, thereby hindering, rather than promoting, long-term structural change.

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File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2006/wp14_2006.pdf
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Paper provided by United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs in its series Working Papers with number 14.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:14
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/working-papers.htmlEmail:


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  1. Erik S. Reinert, 1999. "The role of the state in economic growth," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 26(4/5), pages 268-326, September.
  2. List, Friedrich, 1885. "The National System of Political Economy," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number list1885.
  3. Reinert, Erik S. & Kattel, Rainer, 2004. "The Qualitative Shift in European Integration: Towards permanent wage pressures and a ‘Latin-Americanization’ of Europe?," MPRA Paper 47909, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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