Foreign Aid and the Bottom Billion


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.

Foreign Aid and the Bottom Billion

Published 1 January 2008