- Series: Columbia Business School Publishing
- Hardcover: 216 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1st edition (August 31, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0231145624
- ISBN-13: 978-0231145626
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Aid Trap: Hard Truths About Ending Poverty (Columbia Business School Publishing) 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Hubbard and Duggan, respectively dean and lecturer at Columbia Business School, make the case that current foreign aid and Third World projects—particularly in Africa—aren't working and that the developed world must rethink how it allots aid money. The authors dissect (and disagree) with the U.N.'s Millennium Goals strategy for attacking poverty, pet project of Jeffrey Sachs and a host of celebrities. They condemn the strategy as a charity trap, that perverts local economies and keeps corrupt leaders rich. The authors contend that poor countries can attain prosperity and self-sufficiency only if aid money goes to cultivating a functioning business sector. Microfinance, they say, is working but stops short; they propose something much more ambitious: a new Marshall Plan, an almost prohibitively daunting task given the vast differences among developing countries, the controls each puts on business and the input required from other developed nations. But the plainly stated thesis and the authors' willingness to confront conventional wisdom and examine and energetically attack the problem are refreshing and necessary. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Anyone who wants to end poverty should take seriously the powerful and provocative arguments of The Aid Trap. Even if R. Glenn Hubbard and William Duggan don't convince you to embrace their new Marshall Plan, you will come away with a deeper appreciation for the limits of charity, the dangers of top-down planning, and the importance of creating a vibrant and open business sector. (J. Gregory Dees, Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business)
R. Glenn Hubbard and William Duggan make a persuasive case that international aid flows have been grossly misdirected. In trying to do good, those in the developed world may actually have ended up doing substantial harm to the developing world. Hubbard and Duggan instead argue that aid flows should be redirected towards encouraging business and entrepreneurship. This is a timely and readable book about how to solve one of the most challenging problems of our time. (Raghuram G. Rajan, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business)
The authors' willingness to confront conventional wisdom and examine and energetically attack the problem are refreshing and necessary. (Publishers Weekly)
The Aid Trap is not about the failure of conventional aid but provides the outline of a solution that can work if taken seriously. It is that rare prescriptive book, and the world must pay attention. (Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize)
Glenn Hubbard and William Duggan's considered analysis of The Aid Trap adds a new and important dimension to the on-going development debate. This book, grounded in logic and supported by evidence, presents reasonable and sustainable steps that will move Africa forward. (Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid: Why Aid In Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa)
A few years ago, we in Mauritius set out to make it easier for our own people and foreign companies to do business in our country. The result has been far more prosperity for our people. Other countries want to learn from our experience. I am pleased to see that there is now a book that can help. The Aid Trap makes a strong case and offers concrete steps for countries not to rely exclusively on the aid world and join the business world instead. I hope this book has a wide impact on the minds, hearts, and actions of national leaders, multinational and local businesses, aid agencies, and concerned citizens around the world. (Honorable Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius)
Offers a different and logical, if emotionally counter-intuitive, approach to foreign aid. (Sarah Lynch Forbes)
The authors point to the burgeoning economies of China and India as evidence that thriving businesses are the key to ending poverty. (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
The Aid Trap articulates a constructive set of ideas about how to reform foreign aid. (Economist)
The Aid Trap does a good job of both highlighting problems with the current aid structure and prescribing solutions. (Reuben Abraham Alliance Magazine)
The Aid Trap the well-entrenched myth that development aid willerase global poverty. (d-sector.org)
[The Aid Trap] offers a refreshing perspective on the current effort to end world poverty. (Bennett Grill African Affairs)
The Aid Trap is a concise, beautifully written, stimulating, profound, and up-to-date reminder to all of us who are deeply concerned as to just why our traditional aid programs continue to fail us. (Joseph Keckeissen Journal of Markets & Morality)
Top customer reviews
Here is another book I found written far better and CERTAINLY better sourced. Perhaps the author, a relative unknown economist, should not be compared to Dr. Hubbard, given Dr. Hubbard's accomplishments, but I certainly expected Hubbard's book to be more like this one. Check it out and compare your thoughts.
To my disappointment, they failed to show how the Marshall plan has worked in the European countries in more detail. It may be because they did not have enough knowledge or deep understanding how the Marshall plan was planned, implemented. Neither do they have enough knowledge or understanding on the development for developing countries.
Once they tried to combined two unknown things together, the consequence is a disaster: just to repeat same thing without much evidence and explanation.
In my view, if the authors truly tried to argue the key factor in development is "private sector development" which I think it is noble, they should start the success story of East Asian countries, in addition to the Marshall Plan.
In East Asain countries, the government played very important role to help the business to grow to become more competative. The business sector did not grow by itself but they could prosper with the good cooperation of the government. In that sense, this book should cover thhe argument that industrial policy is very important in development of the poor countries should be reviewed. If they focused on the approach of developing all the sectors at the same time which the current aid institutions supported, they could have not been sucessful. The future is always uncertain whether you take selective or comprehensive approach. However, under the thin resources provided, the selective approach looks more promising to me.
Recently the U.S. and EU have effectively been cut out of Africa by China and to a lessor degree India. As Engineers and Constructors (E&C's) working with equipment manufacture/suppliers we cannot compete with Asia in Africa. This situation has been changing and we now have been reduced to technical goods and services limiting direct participation in the market. Africa is being exposed to Chinese business culture, especially second and third teams, rather than the highly developed business culture of the U.S. The Chinese are some 30-50 years behind in cultural development with significant corruption. All is not bad, however, Africa has benefited from Chinese built infrastructure (good but not great) projects at greatly reduced cost. The Ethiopian $500M Tekeze hydro electric project built by the Chinese for $300M is just one example. What developer wouldn't smile to have a constructor chop 40% off a feasible project with the same revenue.
Historically observing and experiencing country development first in Japan from the 1930's, then Korea and now China has shown the rate of growth is dependent on the cultural environment. Africa is being handicapped by Asia. No amount of business Czar's (ECA) wisdom, as proposed by the authors, will be smart enough to overcome the cultural change required to support growth in Africa. The excellence of moving from Aid to Business, overcoming the devastating damage of enabling welfare will fail because it's not the U.S./EU business but Asia's business. China's business culture is developing with significant difference between eastern, central and western China -- Africa will not see a first team for many decades. This is to say nothing about the almost impossible tasks of a Marshall Plan selecting from top-down the right businesses at the right time to develop from nothing.
But there's always a way.
While Africa is reflecting on it's economic/political environment, tribal issues and country boundaries governing trade to enhances regional markets, African business leaders (and the authors) may want to look at India's "Bottom-of-Pyramid" business development approach. India is taking advantage of low cost redesign and manufacturing, microlenders, market development working with large multinationals. This gets to the real needs of the people and most importantly, learning the environment for a successful ethical business culture in competition, risk and profits. This was nicely summarized in the front page of the WSJ article, "Moving Up in India" Oct 20th, 2009 and also addressed in detail in C.K.Prahalad's book, "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid", with references to McKinsey business consultants. Cultural development through business plus farming expansion and agriculture research will provide, in the long term, the foundation to develop competitive offerings through trade.
The Aid Trap business approach puts some real sense into country investment; it needs time and cultural development to be successful. An applied Marshall plan doesn't fit. In Europe and Japan their cultures and industries were developed; in Africa it's going to be a process. A business approach can overcome the destructive dependency of welfare Aid while significantly improving culture under the proper circumstances. When the slack tightens in the worlds labor markets, Africa's opportunities will significantly improve. Cultural development through business is best done by African's themselves with help in consulting/tutoring by developed nations, especially the U.S.
David F. Latta