Bill Easterly: When Will There Be Good News? Does it Help There Already Was Some? (Aid Watch)

When Will There Be Good News? Does it Help There Already Was Some?

By William Easterly

In the midst of the general doom and gloom, fears about how the crisis will affect poor countries, and fierce criticism of markets, states, and aid agencies, perhaps it???s healthy to step back to the big picture, to recognize there has already been some very real good news. The graph below shows some overall statistics for the developing world:

goodnews1largefontpng.PNG

This graph has a mixture of good news that all of the much-criticized triad of markets, states, and aid can take partial credit for. Markets obviously get at least some credit for the reduction in global poverty and increase of global average income. States supply public goods like education, water, and health, and there has been progress on all of these. Aid deserves some credit for successes in health, as already stressed in a previous blog post.

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