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Cultural values and public policy: The case of international development aid

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  • Ball, Richard
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates whether the quantity and character of aggregate expenditures on foreign aid by donor governments are related to the cultural values held by the people of the donor countries. In particular, we study whether any association exists between three measures of donors' foreign aid expenditures and two dimensions of culture. We find that the shares of national income governments spend on aid, the proportion of total aid provided in the form of grants, and the proportion of aid directed to humanitarian relief are all related in statistically significant and quantitatively important ways to the location of the cultural values of people in the donor countries on two continua, one from "traditional" to "rational" beliefs about social organization and authority, and the other from "survival" to "self-expression" as the focus of individual aspirations. These results contribute to our understanding of the political economy of aid, and to a growing literature on how culture shapes economic policies, institutions, and performance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 50 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 3-16

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:50:y:2010:i:1:p:3-16

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620167

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    Keywords: Aid effort Culture World values survey;

    References

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    1. Ball, Richard & Johnson, Christopher, 1996. "Political, Economic, and Humanitarian Motivations for PL 480 Food Aid: Evidence from Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 515-37, April.
    2. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Paxton, Pamela & Knack, Stephen, 2008. "Individual and country-level factors affecting support for foreign aid," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4714, The World Bank.
    4. Beenstock, Michael, 1980. "Political econometry of official development assistance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 137-144, February.
    5. Robert K. Fleck & Christopher Kilby, 2006. "How Do Political Changes Influence US Bilateral Aid Allocations? Evidence from Panel Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 210-223, 05.
    6. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Round, Jeffery I. & Odedokun, Matthew, 2004. "Aid effort and its determinants," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 293-309.
    8. Dudley, Leonard & Montmarquette, Claude, 1976. "A Model of the Supply of Bilateral Foreign Aid," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 132-42, March.
    9. Destler, I. M., 1978. "United States food policy 1972–1976: reconciling domestic and international objectives," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(03), pages 617-653, June.
    10. Maizels, Alfred & Nissanke, Machiko K., 1984. "Motivations for aid to developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(9), pages 879-900, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Era Dabla-Norris & Camelia Minoiu & Luis-Felipe Zanna, 2010. "Business Cycle Fluctuations, Large Shocks, and Development Aid: New Evidence," IMF Working Papers 10/240, International Monetary Fund.

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