A Farewell to Alms

Monday, August 27, 2007

When celebrities such as Angelina Jolie or Bono highlight human tragedy to show that something can be done to alleviate it, the heart melts and the purse strings loosen. But the stars, alas, aren’t up on the economic literature. Research is increasingly questioning the benefits of foreign aid.

For a long time, persistent underdevelopment in aid-receiving countries fostered doubts about whether the do-good impulse was doing permanent good. Validation seemed to arrive with two World Bank researchers, Craig Burnside and David Dollar, who purportedly showed in the late 1990s that aid helped boost long run economic growth. It did so …

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Source: Wall Street Journal (link opens in a new window)