Are Sachs’s Millennium Villages Projects scalable?

Tyler Cowen on Jeff Sachs’s Millennium Village project

In my view Sach’s [sic] work is admirable and will do much to improve the lives of a small percentage of Africans. But I do not think it is scalable. First, I believe the candidate villages are cherry-picked for possible improvement. Armed conflict remains a huge problem on the continent. Second, one key non-scalable ingredient is Sachs himself. His reputation is worth a great deal to him, and these projects will receive scrutiny and study; he has strong incentives to make sure everything goes as well and as honestly as possible. That incentive vanishes once we implement such ideas on a bigger scale and through other institutions. File this one under “Wonderful but oversold.”

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