Monday, May 24, 2004
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Ranking the Rich, mark two
Longtime readers of the blog may remember that I was critical of the Center for Global Development for last year's Ranking the Rich. That report, if you remember, had the U.S. ranked 20th out of 21 countries in terms of helping the developing world. It was a good effort, but it stacked the deck against the U.S. in a number of ways.
In response to their feedback from last year's index, the authors of the index revised the measures used for some of the components, and added a new one -- technology.
And for all of those just waiting to ask whether the revision factored in private aid flows as well as official development assistance -- a topic I've addressed before -- here's the key passage:
Go check out the whole report -- I'll be attending a board meeting soon, so any and all constructive feedback is appreciated.posted by Dan on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM
One quick thought is that this report fails to account for how effective the aid is at promoting long-term economic success. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neal's greatest (and arguably only) success was linking foreign aid to basic political factors such as the rule of law and basic governance transparancy. I don't see why other nations should be rewarded for donating millions to authoritarian states with non-free economies - afterall these donations will only result in one-time gains rather than structural transformations.posted by: dellis on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
Sorry, until "the world" starts taking responsiblity for it's own military and quits getting a free ride on prescription drugs from the backs of our elderly, I really don't care how they rate US.
And I'm taking it that "private giving" is only based on international giving?
And if they're basing it on our tax returns, what happens when people like me throw $50 into the Salvation Army pot or drop off canned goods at church w/o taking a donation, and do they include clothing/item write-offs?
Does this include thru the UN? And does this include corporate/nfp aid?posted by: Sandy P on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
A side benefit of the new methodology is that it creates some churn in the rankings, making it more newsworthy -- something BusinessWeek, US News, ... are accused of doing in the context of various school rankings.
ABposted by: Angry Bear on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
From what I read about the earlier report, this looked like an anti-American smear organization. I'm very impressed with the way they responded to their critics.posted by: Xavier on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
“Sorry, until "the world" starts taking responsiblity for it's own military and quits getting a free ride on prescription drugs from the backs of our elderly, I really don't care how they rate US.”
Amen. The Old Europeans and Canadians mooch off of us. We pay for most of their military defense. Americans do far more than their share in subsidizing other countries in the world.posted by: David Thomson on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
For next year, under security, should some consideration be given for discouraging arms trade with poorly governed countries?posted by: Andrew Price on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
If I give to one of those "development agencies" that then uses the money to house it's staff in five-star hotels and fly first class ... does that count for any extra?posted by: bruce on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
A couple possibilities. DSL has been slow, so I've had trouble accessing the PDF files that describe methodology at the RTR site, so these may be covered.
I see from the FAQ, Q.12, that remittances aren't included because of incomplete information. They recognize elsewhere that these can be really important, and should be added. Hopefully, next year will have it.
On the security component, if Country A relies on Country B's capabilities to keep its troops somewhere, then I'd argue that A's forces should be included in B's totals. There are, of course, methodological problems with this.
As an overall comment, the study seems biased in favor of governmental operations rather than private ones, and direct rather than indirect actions. I assume this is a consequence of where data is available, though whether it's that or a general statist bias I can't say, and it probably doesn't matter.posted by: Tom on 05.24.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]
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