Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Public Event

Does Foreign Aid Buy Economic Development?

Friday, December 3, 2004 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

The Center for Global Development and the SAIS International Development Program's Brown Bag Lecture Series hosted "Does Foreign Aid Buy Economic Development?" with William Easterly, Professor of Economics, New York University and Non-Resident Fellow, Center for Global Development.

Is it realistic to expect foreign aid to permanently raise growth? Much evidence indicates that foreign aid has failed in its original intent of enabling developing countries to experience perpetual growth of living standards. The design of foreign aid may not allow the poor to voice what they most need and want. National and international aid agencies may not have the incentives to efficiently respond to those needs. Could foreign aid be more successful at bettering the lives of the poor in more modest ways, such as immunizing children against measles or providing access to clean water? Dr. Easterly will address these issues, and others, in his discussion of the potential impact of foreign aid on economic development in poor countries.

William Easterly is currently a professor of economics at NYU and author of the acclaimed The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics and numerous articles in leading economic journals. He has spent 16 years at the World Bank as a research economist. His research has included the determinants of long-run economic growth and the effectiveness of development aid in various regions, such as Africa, Latin America, and Russia. He received his Ph.D. in economics from MIT.