Does Sending Food Aid to Struggling Nations Do More Harm Than Good?

Does Sending Food Aid to Struggling Nations Do More Harm Than Good?

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In a study just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists Nathan Nunn and Nancy Qian find that our well-meaning helping hand has often had the unintended consequence of aggravating conflict. Focusing on U.S. food aid windfalls that were triggered by bumper crops in the Midwest, they find that unexpected increases in wheat shipments increase civil conflicts in countries unlucky enough to be the beneficiaries of American assistance. The study provides ammunition to those who have been calling for a reform in how U.S. lends a helping hand to developing countries.

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