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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 44 No. 1 (March 2006)

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The Big Push Déjà Vu: A Review of Jeffrey Sachs's The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

Article Citation

Easterly, William. 2006. "The Big Push Déjà Vu: A Review of Jeffrey Sachs's The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time." Journal of Economic Literature, 44(1): 96-105.

DOI: 10.1257/002205106776162663

Abstract

Jeffrey Sachs's new book (The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, Penguin Press: New York, 2005) advocates a "Big Push" featuring large increases in aid to finance a package of complementary investments in order to end world poverty. These recommendations are remarkably similar to those first made in the 1950s and 1960s in development economics. Today, as then, the Big Push recommendation overlooks the unsolvable information and incentive problems facing any large-scale planning exercise. A more promising approach would be to design incentives for aid agents to implement interventions piecemeal whenever they deliver large benefits for the poor relative to costs.

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Easterly, William


Journal of Economic Literature


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