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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 44-45 of William Easterly’s marvelous 2006 book, The White Man’s Burden:

There is now a regular cycle in the literature on foreign aid and growth.  Someone will survey the evidence and find that foreign aid does not produce growth.  There will be some to-and-fro in the literature, in the course of which a few studies will find a positive effect of aid on growth.  Foreign aid agencies will then seize upon the positive effect, usually focusing on only one study, and will publicize it widely.  Researchers will examine the one positive result more carefully and find that it is spurious.  Then there will be more to-and-fro in the literature, and a new twist will be discovered under which aid has a positive effect on growth.  Aid agencies will seize on this result again, and the cycle will begin all over again.