Regressive Foreign Aid

Tina Rosenberg’s NYT Magazine piece from March 25 offers the following channels of poor-to -rich reverse foreign aid:

  • growth of reserves in poor countries
  • intellectual property agreements in WTO and other frameworks
  • tax holidays for foreign investment
  • brain drain

She laments rich country agricultural subsidies. Finally, she notes that while global warming is indeed global, per capita energy use is substantially higher in wealthier countries.

I do not disagree with any of these discussions but believe that focus needs to begin to shift away from thinking solely about national level statistics and phenomena to considering distribution within countries.

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