Monday, May 16, 2011

Medical journals publishing poor economics

AidWatch has a great post that suggests why the public is so ignorant about the failure rate of well-intentioned foreign aid projects and schemes to eliminate poverty abroad: Medical journals whose reviewers are not competent to detect bogus economic arguments give a pass to sloppy research as long as the medical aspect is competent.

These flawed studies get picked up by the media, who sees they passed the peer-review process, and the public thinks some failed plan makes the world a better place.

The public embraces things like fair trade coffee, play pumps, Tom's Shoes, microloans, the Millennium Villages Project and United Nations Peacekeepers - despite the major failures of these schemes.

The icing on the cake is the things that successfully reduce third-world poverty, like globalization, free trade and sweatshops, have a poor reputation with the public.

You see what I'm up against here?

1 comment:

  1. Is it not the same explanation for why people don't see the dismal failures at home, particularly with the "anti-poverty" schemes?