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The Political Economy Of U.S. Foreign Aid: American Legislators And The Domestic Politics Of Aid

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  • HELEN V. MILNER
  • DUSTIN H. TINGLEY

Abstract

Are there systematic political economy factors that shape preferences for foreign aid, a key component of American foreign policy? We analyze votes in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 2003 that would increase or decrease foreign aid by considering the political, economic, and ideological characteristics of legislators and their districts. To understand who supports and opposes foreign aid, we utilize theories of foreign economic policy preferences. By examining different types of aid policy, we show that domestic politics and especially the distributional consequences of economic aid can matter. The economic characteristics of a district and its left-right ideological predispositions influence support for aid in a systematic fashion over the nearly 25-year period. Stolper-Samuelson models along with political ideology can help explain legislators' preferences toward aid. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (07)
Pages: 200-232

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:22:y:2010:i:2:p:200-232

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Cited by:
  1. Lskavyan, Vahe, 2014. "Donor–recipient ideological differences and economic aid," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 345-347.
  2. James Vreeland, 2011. "Foreign aid and global governance: Buying Bretton Woods – the Swiss-bloc case," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 369-391, September.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Does government ideology influence political alignment with the U.S.? An empirical analysis of voting in the UN General Assembly," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 245-268, September.
  4. Pincin, Jared, 2013. "Political power and aid tying practices in the development assistance committee countries," MPRA Paper 49806, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Maelan Le Goff & Kangni Kpodar, 2011. "Do Remittances Reduce Aid Dependency?," IMF Working Papers 11/246, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Baulch, Bob & Tam, Le Vi An, 2013. "The progressivity and regressivity of aid to the social sectors," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Danny Kurban & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Zum Einfluss von Regierungsideologie in Geberländern auf die Verteilung von Entwicklungshilfe," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(14), pages 30-34, 07.
  8. Viktor Brech & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Donor Ideology and Types of Foreign Aid," CESifo Working Paper Series 4314, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Axel Dreher & Peter Nunnenkamp & Maya Schmaljohann, 2013. "The Allocation of German Aid: Self-interest and Government Ideology," Kiel Working Papers 1817, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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