Size matters

5 months ago Comments Off on Size matters

Why do donors lavish money on some countries and not others? Being well-governed (represented by the dark circles) seems to make no difference; nor, strangely, does being poor (the smallest circles). What helps is to be small. Among 56 low- and middle-income countries, the top ten aid recipients per person include seven of the ten least populous. The ten receiving the least aid include the six biggest. In 2014 Samoa received $ 458 per person; India made do with $ 3.69. Smaller countries tend to have less bureaucracy, so aid can be put to use more quickly. But the main reason is probably that a little cash can have a more visible effect in a small country. Jesus told his followers to do good secretly, and be rewarded in heaven. Some donors, it seems, cannot wait.

The Economist: International