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Viviane Chevallier

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If there is so much aid in developing countries, why poverty is increasing in these regions and the industrialized world?

I'm doing a question for my project. Not only that poverty is increasing in the developing world for the worse, it is increasing in the industrialized world, especially the United States.

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  • Dec 9 2012: I think you need to first ask a few questions: What is poverty? Look at work by Amartya Sen, who redifines poverty in terms of peoples capacities. Is someone poor if they are making 1$ a day, but are subsistance farmers who have enough to eat? Or what about relative poverty- in the United States the incomes are much higher, but RELATIVE to their neighbours, people may be poor. Are you only looking at poverty in terms of income? If so, you may want to begin by looking at income inequality. Some countries are seeing poverty being reduced and income being redistributed, look at the "Asian Tigers", such as South Korea. However, many countries are not, look at "The Bottom Billion" a book by Collier. Many of these countries are in SubSaharan Africa. Why is this happening? As some people mentionned, there is corruption, and certain people are benefitting from aid, where as others are not. In countries with high inequality (you may want to look at some of the emerging countries in Latin America), there is economic growth without redistribution. Why? Sometimes, inefficiency in governance means poor taxation measures. In others, structural problems, like lack of education and healthcare mean that people don't have access to jobs or to the formal sector to begin to earn. What would be interesting for your project might be to look at how a foreign aid project developped in one case, and see what the effects were. Talking about poverty I think poses more questions than it answers, but this is part of finding solutions!

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