Peter Bauer and the Failure of Foreign Aid

12 Pages Posted: 7 May 2013

See all articles by Andrei Shleifer

Andrei Shleifer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: September 6, 2009


Peter Bauer was one of the greatest development economists in history. He was an advocate of property rights protection and free trade before these ideas became commonplace. He appreciated before others did the crucial roles of entrepreneurship and trade in development. He was also one of the earliest opponents of the overpopulation thesis, recognizing that the poor like the rich should have the right to choose the number of children they have, that many developing countries are underpopulated, and that population growth will anyhow slow down once they become richer. Bauer’s writings are remarkable for their deep humanity and commitment to the welfare of the people in the developing world, but without the fake sanctimony that characterizes much of the modern rhetoric.

Keywords: issues with us foreign aid payments, American foreign aid budget, future of foreign aid, international development issues

JEL Classification: F35, F63, O11

Suggested Citation

Shleifer, Andrei, Peter Bauer and the Failure of Foreign Aid (September 6, 2009). Cato Journal, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Andrei Shleifer (Contact Author)

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