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Imperfect Enforcement, Foreign Investment, And Foreign Aid

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  • Asiedu, Elizabeth
  • Villamil, Anne P.
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    Abstract

    The lack of a supranational legal authority that can enforce private contracts across borders makes debt repayment in an international setting contingent on borrowers willingness to pay rather than ability to pay. This market failure (i.e., inadequate enforcement) causes investment to fall short of its unconstrained level. This paper examines how foreign aid affects a country s willingness to honor private investment agreements. We consider two types of aid: technical assistance and loan subsidies. We show that when enforcement is inadequate, aid has the following effects: (i) it reduces default risk, promotes capital flows, and can, in principle, restore investment to its unconstrained level; (ii) when default risk is high, aid can increase the welfare of both the recipient and the donor country. Thus, foreign aid serves as an enforcement mechanism in an international setting. This provides a nonaltruistic rationale for foreign aid. Finally, we discuss the implications of providing bilateral versus multilateral aid (e.g., by individual countries versus multilateral organizations).

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 04 (September)
    Pages: 476-495

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:04:p:476-495_01

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    Cited by:
    1. Asiedu, Elizabeth & Jin, Yi & Nandwa, Boaz, 2009. "Does foreign aid mitigate the adverse effect of expropriation risk on foreign direct investment?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 268-275, July.
    2. Kyriakos C. Neanidis & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2007. "The Allocation of volatile aid and economic growth: Evidence and a suggestive theory," Discussion Paper Series 2007_07, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Mar 2007.
    3. K C Neanidis & D Varvarigos, 2005. "The Impact of Foreign Aid on Economic Growth: Volatility of Disbursements and Distribution of Receipts," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 56, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    4. Carro, Martha & Larrú, José María, 2010. "Flowing Together or Flowing Apart: An Analysis of the Relation between FDI and ODA Flows to Argentina and Brazil," MPRA Paper 25064, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Wezel, Torsten, 2004. "Does co-financing by multilateral development banks increase "risky" direct investment in emerging markets?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,02, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    6. Stéphane Pallage & Michel A. Robe & Catherine Bérubé, 2006. "The Potential of Foreign Aid as Insurance," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(3), pages 5.
    7. Jana Brandt & Markus Jorra, 2012. "Aid Withdrawal as Punishment for Defaulting Sovereigns? An Empirical Analysis," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201220, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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