One of a series of 13 briefs exploring the strengths and weaknesses of
the policies advocated in Paul Collier's controversial and influential
book 'The Bottom Billion'.
There are many contrasting opinions about foreign aid, from the optimism
of Jeffrey Sachs in The End of Poverty to the scepticism of William
Easterly in The White Man’s Burden. How aid affects economic development
remains unresolved. This debate is important because of its implications
for donor policies and their effects in poor nations. The challenge is
to bridge the divide between the crosscountry econometrics on which Paul
Collier relies in The Bottom Billion and country-specific analysis that
is useful for governments and aid agencies. In this In Focus brief key
aid messages from Collier's book are identified, analysed, and their
policy implications discussed.
IDS In Focus Issue 3.12, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 4 pp.