Out this week is Dead Aid by Zambian economist and former World Bank consultant Dambisa Moyo. She’s hawking a tough sell – not merely arguing that aid has had negligible impact on average, Moyo is pressing the case that aid has been “an unmitigated political, economic, and humanitarian disaster“:
The aid money pouring into Africa, she says, underwrites brutal and corrupt regimes; it stifles investment; and it leads to higher rates of poverty — all of which, in turn, creates a demand for yet more aid. Africa, Ms. Moyo notes, seems hopelessly trapped in this spiral, and she wants to see it break free. Over the past 30 years, she says, the most aid-dependent countries in Africa have experienced economic contraction averaging 0.2% a year. [WSJ book review]
The Wall Street Journal published an excerpt (the book’s preface) this morning, but that passage doesn’t even begin to make the anti-aid argument. But Bill Easterly is excited about the book, so it’s probably worth a closer look.
Update: See this (negative) review. Thanks to Luis Enrique in the comments for the pointer.