On forced imposition of markets and economic aid

Kerim at Savage Minds:

A good example is the recent failed attempt by aid organizations to employ markets to distribute much-needed mosquito nets:

In doing so, Dr. Kochi turned his back on an alternative long favored by the Clinton and Bush administrations — distribution by so-called social marketing, in which mosquito nets are sold through local shops at low, subsidized prices — $1 or so for an insecticide-impregnated net that costs $5 to $7 from the maker — with donors underwriting the losses and paying consultants to come up with brand names and advertise the nets.

When Kenya started giving nets away for free instead of charging for them coverage increased dramatically and the “deaths of children dropped 44 percent.”

The story seems to be a bit different from what I heard from Jacqueline Novogratz at TED though (about mosquito net distribution in Tanzania).

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