Foreign aid: forget the T-shirts, just give them the money

I am thinking of starting a contest.

To the first three people who sign up to follow my blog I will send one of my used T-shirts, shipping and handling included. Or how about this: to the first three people who sign up I won’t send T-shirts, but will send the approximately $10 it would have cost to ship them.

Which would you prefer?

Before answering you should know that foreign aid programs are often designed as in-kind transfers: they send the T-shirts, not the money. In fact, in some cases quite literally the T-shirts.

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Economics is about being a good plumber

Ester Duflo is a smart women.

She has a PhD from MIT where she has taught development economics since her graduation in 1999. She holds a chair in the Department of Economics there, edits an influential economics journal, has published too many articles to count, won major prizes and awards—including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship that is nicknamed the ‘genius’ award—and has authored or co-authored four books with the most recent released earlier this year called Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the way to Fight Global Poverty.

And to just what does this 38-year-old aspire? … She wants to be a good plumber!

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