New Perspectives on Foreign Aid and Economic Development

New Perspectives on Foreign Aid and Economic Development

New Perspectives on Foreign Aid and Economic Development

New Perspectives on Foreign Aid and Economic Development


The success or failure of economic assistance programs is a shared responsibility of recipient countries and donors. The negative attitude about aid prevalent today underscores a perception the aid has failed. Critics often blame corrupt regimes, weak governments, or poor economic policies. However, the poor track record of aid is also due to donors' inability to allocate limited funds effectively and poor coordination of their aid efforts. Declining aid budgets have led to fundamental questioning of foreign aid's allocation and utility, while the apparent ineffectiveness of aid had shrunk aid budgets and turned public opinion against providing it. This edited collection containing pieces written by leading development specialists evaluates these emerging questions of allocation and efficiency. Development economists, policy makers, and development specialists will benefit from reading this work.


Foreign assistance has been the focus of considerable attention in recent years. Not coincidentally, it has also gone through significant changes. Major donors have been shifting their priorities in allocating aid since the end of the Cold War and have been attempting to redress past failure of aid. This volume presents a broad overview of these changes, focusing in particular on the issues of aid disbursement, equity, and efficiency.

Assembled with researchers, graduate students, and policy makers in mind, the volume is logically organized, starting with an examination of allocation of aid, then building on that foundation to treat the question of efficacy of aid. Based on the discussion of contributors, it appears that general consensus is within reach on the twin issues of allocation and effectiveness of aid and its role in the New World Order. It is hoped that the contributors’ fresh look at these issues will lead to a better understanding of the role and scope of foreign aid and the policy debate on economic development in the new millennium.

I thank two anonymous referees for detailed comments, Cecilia Castillo for patient and superb editorial assistance, A & B Typesetters and Editorial Services for terrific copyediting, and Marisa Scigliano for useful comments on several parts of the manuscript as well as assistance with the production of the index. These individuals should not, however, in any way be held responsible for this volume’s content.

To Marisa, my wife, I also owe special thanks for sustaining and loving me every day. To my son, Luciano, I am indebted for a new perspective on life.

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