Development Experts Debate How Best To ‘Fight World Poverty’

Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center”: Getting Kinky with Chickens
Lant Pritchett, senior fellow at CGD, responds to a Vox piece that Chris Blattman, professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, wrote on “Bill Gates’ commitment to chickens as a high impact poverty intervention.” Pritchett writes, “Chris Blattman is a brilliant and influential scholar, worth taking seriously. How can he and I disagree so completely on what is the best investment to ‘fight world poverty’? I think there are actually two deep disagreements. … First, I suspect … that we fundamentally disagree on how to define ‘world poverty.’ … The second big area in which I suspect Chris and I might disagree is what it means to ‘fight’ world poverty and who is imagined as the active agent of that fight. … ‘Chickens versus cash’ might be the ‘best investment’ for a very narrow question but I argue it probably isn’t in the top 100 value for money research questions in development economics” (3/28).

Chris Blattman Blog: Two views on fighting world poverty
In response to Lant Pritchett’s CGD post, “Getting Kinky with Chickens,” Blattman writes, “I think Lant’s right and he’s wrong. We have to focus on the big picture and growth as a society, but I think there’s a strong argument for directly tackling the worst poverty now. … The reason I like the research I propose is simple: I can see exactly how it will be used and how it will change life for a large number of people in a short period of time” (3/30).

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