1887

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers aim to stimulate discussion and critical comment on the broad range of economic, social and environmental issues associated with the United Nations Development Agenda.

English

Development and Social Goals: Balancing Aid and Development to Prevent ‘Welfare Colonialism’

The current development policy focus on poverty reduction is erroneous. Historically, successful development policy—from the late fifteenth century until the beginning of the twenty-first—has achieved structural change away from dependence on raw materials and agriculture, adding specialized manufacturing and services subject to increasing returns with a complex division of labour. In contrast, the Millennium development Goals are heavily biased in favour of palliative economics: alleviating the symptoms of poverty, rather than attacking its real causes. This creates a system of ‘welfare colonialism’ increasing the dependence of poor countries, thereby hindering, rather than promoting, long-term structural change.

English

Keywords: Millennium Development Goals, economic development, welfare colonialism, palliative economics
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