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The Aid Trap: Hard Truths About Ending Poverty
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The Aid Trap: Hard Truths About Ending Poverty

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  12 reviews

Over the past twenty years more citizens in China and India have raised themselves out of poverty than anywhere else at any time in history. They accomplished this through the local business sector& mdash;the leading source of prosperity for all rich countries. In most of Africa and other poor regions the business sector is weak, but foreign aid continues to fund gover

Hardcover, 198 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Columbia University Press (first published July 15th 2009)
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Treatise on a new Marshall Plan for third-world nations

Prosperous nations today spend more than $100 billion annually on aid to developing countries. Still, according to the World Bank “1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day.” Columbia University Business School academics R. Glenn Hubbard and William Duggan warn against funneling more money to corrupt governments and tinpot dictators for development projects that never materialize. Instead, they propose “a new Marshall Plan for the w
Josh Meares
This is a really good book on poverty and development by the Chicago School of Business. The idea is simple: the Marshall plan worked because it put money directly into the business sector instead of into the government. These loans to the business sector were then repaid to the national government, who was then supposed to invest in infrastructure. The way that the World Bank and co. work today is that they propose a project to a government, calculate how much extra revenue the government will ...more
Essential reading for all who give money or assistance to charities and NGOs operating in Africa and other distressed areas. Are you really helping or are you putting local entrepreneurs out of business. Who can grow and sell food if people are getting it free from a foreign NGO?

The book is a high-speed trip through the economic history of mankind followed by an overview of a proposed "Marshall Plan" for Africa. While convincing about the benefits of business development and capitalism, rather
It covers a lot of ground that William Easterly has already covered. Worse, the book chooses Greece as an example of how the Marshall Plan succeeded in stimulating business development, creating a vibrant economy from the rubble of World War II. Trouble is, the book was written before the economic collapse of 2008. The collapse revealed just how weak Greece's economy really is -- after two massive infusions of cash, its frailty threatens to bring down the entire European Union.

Furthermore, the b
Does a good job explaining the business side of poverty reduction but does too little to account for the government, law and order, and basic human well being that must go hand-in-hand with it.
Lance Cahill
Really a 2.5 star book but rounded up for the latter half. Reads, to some extent, like a typical B School book which I am not find of. Pretty basic and general.
Compelling. I especially liked the historical beginnings. A little too much on the "how to" details, but the argument is sound. It was a quick read and though-provoking. I will look at charitable aid in a completely different light going forward.
Short version: the Marshall Plan works, requires buy in from all stakeholders, and should be country-customizable based on the world bank's doing business top ten list.

Also, stop building wells without an ongoing maintenance plan.
ah li
Jun 06, 2013 ah li added it
makes sense and is very logical but would require great dedication and cooperation from all parties for execution.
David Miller
Nov 06, 2009 David Miller marked it as to-read
Heard an interview with the author on NPR's Fresh AIR. How invtsting in local businesses can save Africa.
Glen Hubbard does an amazing work dissecting the aid paths and how it can easily turn into a vicious cycle.
Aly Jones
Meh. If you like economical readings...go for it.
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