Thursday, June 4, 2009

Shoot Out at the Aid Corral

I think the message is that foreign aid is cool uptown, but not downtown. Development aid booster Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia) and critic William Easterly (NYU) are at it again, and this time it's personal.... (Dambisa Moyo is in on it too; she used to work at Goldman Sachs, which is downtown... coincidence?).

Mark Thoma has rounded up their exchange at Economist's View, and Easterly summarizes at Aid Watch.

Nancy Birdsall sees common ground beneath all the sturm und drang:
I am with the majority of students of aid who agree with both of them, yes both of them, on one thing they actually agree on: that aid has made a difference in improving people’s lives and that there ought to be more of it. You wouldn’t know that what they disagree about is not whether aid “works” but how aid programs should be designed and implemented – a subject that doesn’t get headlines but matters.

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