Over the past twenty years more citizens in China and India have
raised themselves out of poverty than anywhere else at any time in
history. They accomplished this through the local business
sector--the leading source of prosperity for all rich countries. In
most of Africa and other poor regions the business sector is weak,
but foreign aid continues to fund government and NGOs. Switching
aid to the local business sector in order to cultivate a middle
class is the oldest, surest, and only way to eliminate poverty in
A bold fusion of ethics and smart business, "The Aid Trap" shows
how the same energy, goodwill, and money that we devote to charity
can help local business thrive. R. Glenn Hubbard and William
Duggan, two leading scholars in business and finance, demonstrate
that by diverting a major share of charitable aid into the local
business sector of poor countries, citizens can take the lead in
the growth of their own economies. Although the aid system supports
noble goals, a local well-digging company cannot compete with a
foreign charity that digs wells for free. By investing in that
local company a sustainable system of development can take
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