cover image The Market for Aid

The Market for Aid

Tim Harford, Michael U. Klein, Tim Herford. World Bank Publications, $18 (120pp) ISBN 978-0-8213-6228-0

Klein is vice-president for private sector development for the World Bank and for the International Finance Corporation, as well as the IFC's chief economist; Harford is an economist at the IFC. Together, they offer an analysis of the global aid industry intended for policy makers operating at their level, but who don't necessarily know the mechanics of global aid dispersion. After describing how aid is dispensed within the framework of a competitive market (""competition in the market for aid is increasing, but... not yet intense,"" they note), the authors go on to discuss how poor and middle-income countries handle and restructure their debt and the various types of aid that countries rely upon, including grants and loans from aid agencies as well as private money from foreign direct investment, banks and nongovernmental organizations. Case studies of Somalia and Cambodia show the gears of the system grinding all the way through, and are used by the authors to advocate for private sector involvement. While an informative resource for economists, this is not a book for those with a merely casual interest in the subject of global aid.