Waylaid Dialectic

July 13, 2011

Inconsistency — happens to the best of them

Filed under: Aid — terence @ 7:57 pm

A handy treasure trove: Angus Deaton’s research papers

Encouraging too to see that even the smartest, most-learned have their blind spots. Witness this effort [pdf] where he (rightly) chastises Jeffrey Sachs for simply assuming that if aid flows benefits will follow, but then proceeds to make an equally bold claim of his own, based on equally tenuous evidence: that we should turn off the aid taps because aid does much more harm than good.

He cites a Moss and Van der Walle paper on Africa but that’s not a lot really. If aid were actually so acutely and unambiguously harmful wouldn’t we expect more abundant and convincing evidence?

The methodological issues in studies of aid’s effectiveness are complicated but if aid were really so harmful surely something would have lept out of the data by now?

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