Worm Wars and Magic Fixes

Vox correspondent Amanda Taub weighs in on the much disputed paper concluding that giving Kenyan schoolchildren deworming pills improved not only their educational outcomes but also those of kids in neighboring schools.  “It seemed like the world had stumbled onto an actual magic pill,” notes Taub, whose commentary reveals the clear-eyed skepticism of a former human rights lawyer. “The truth is that solving hard problems almost always requires hard solutions. That sounds obvious. But the ferocity of the worm wars debate goes to show that it's a lesson the global development community, in its obsession with finding a magic fix for poverty that probably does not exist, can easily forget.”

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