Prof. Blattman featured on Foreign Affairs

Professor Christopher Blattman featured on Foreign Affairs Magazine

Non-traditional forms of aid might be better for reducing poverty suggests CGEG Faculty Associate Christopher Blattman and Paul Niehaus. In their essay, “Show them the Money: Why Giving Cash Helps Alleviate Poverty,” the authors argue the use of cash transfers as a cost effective alternative to a traditional forms of aid. Previous practices have spent more on overhead expenses than the actual assistance. As a result, the funds an organization has set aside for aid is relatively smaller. An example the author’s use is the fee of livestock transportation can be double the cost of one cow.

Blattman and Niehus propose donor’s to ask themselves, “with each dollar we spend, are we doing more good than the poor could do on their own with the same dollar?” They suggest that poor people should have the opportunity to judge for themselves what they need to live better.

Read the full essay at