Do Foreign Aid Transfers Distort Incentives and Hurt Growth? Theory and Evidence from 75 Aid-recipient Countries
AbstractIn this paper, foreign aid transfers can distort individual incentives, and hence hurt growth, by encouraging rent-seeking as opposed to productive activities. We construct a model of a small growing open economy that distinguishes two effects from foreign transfers: (i) a direct positive effect, as higher transfers allow the financing of infrastructure; (ii) an indirect negative effect, as higher transfers induce rent-seeking competition on the part of self-interested individuals. In this framework, the growth impact of aid is examined jointly with the determination of rent-seeking behavior. We test the main predictions of the model for a cross-section of 75 aid-recipient countries between 1975 and 1995. There is evidence that aid has a direct positive effect on growth, which is however significantly mitigated by the adverse indirect effects of associated rent-seeking activities. This is especially the case in recipient countries with relatively large public sectors.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1156.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
foreign aid; incentives; growth;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Charles C. Chang & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Luis Serven, 1998.
"Measuring Aid Flows: A New Approach,"
Research Department Publications
4146, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Dani Rodrik, 1996.
"Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?,"
NBER Working Papers
5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1991.
"The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-30, May.
- Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," NBER Working Papers 3530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implicationsfor Growth," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 65, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Does foreign aid corrupt?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 99-106, April.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Why conditional aid does not work and what can be done about it?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 381-402, April.
- Herschel I. Grossman, 2001.
"The Creation of Effective Property Rights,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 347-352, May.
- Svensson, Jakob, 1998.
"Foreign aid and rent-seeking,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1880, The World Bank.
- Alberto Alesina & Beatrice Weder, 1999.
"Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?,"
NBER Working Papers
7108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fredriksson, Per G. & Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Political instability, corruption and policy formation: the case of environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1383-1405, August.
- Mosley, Paul & Hudson, John & Horrell, Sara, 1987. "Aid, the Public Sector and the Market in Less Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 616-41, September.
- Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
- Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
- Hyun Park & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Vangelis Vassilatos, 2003. "On the Optimal Size of Public Sector under Rent-Seeking competition from State Coffers," CESifo Working Paper Series 991, CESifo Group Munich.
- Paolo Mauro, 2002.
"The Persistence of Corruption and Slow Economic Growth,"
IMF Working Papers
02/213, International Monetary Fund.
- Paolo Mauro, 2004. "The Persistence of Corruption and Slow Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(1), pages 1.
- Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 1997.
"Predation and Accumulation,"
NBER Working Papers
5357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & Weder, Beatrice, 2002. "Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?," Scholarly Articles 4553011, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
- Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
- Park, Hyun & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2003. "On the dynamics of growth and fiscal policy with redistributive transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 515-538, March.
- Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
- Luis Angeles & Kyriakos C Neanidis, 2006.
"Aid Effectiveness: The Role of the Local Elite,"
2007_01, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Dec 2006.
- Luis Angeles & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2006. "Aid Effectiveness: The Role of the Local Elite," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0633, Economics, The University of Manchester.
- Luis Angeles & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2006. "Aid Effectiveness: The Role of the Local Elite," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 80, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
- Michael Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004.
"Counting Chickens When They Hatch: The Short-term Effect of Aid on Growth,"
44, Center for Global Development.
- Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, EconWPA.
- Mark McGillivray, 2005. "Réformer la formule : commentaires.Efficacité de l'aide et régimes de politiques économiques dans les pays receveurs," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 19(2), pages 119-127.
- Cui, Xiaoyong & Gong, Liutang, 2008. "Foreign aid, domestic capital accumulation, and foreign borrowing," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1269-1284, September.
- Tony Addison & George Mavrotas & Mark McGillivray, 2010. "Aid, Debt Relief and New Sources of Finance for Meeting the Millennium Development Goals," Working Papers id:2592, eSocialSciences.
- Larrú, José María, 2013. "The developmental contribution of the Offset Agreements: the case of Colombia," MPRA Paper 51456, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2005. "The Role of Government in Anti-Social Redistributive Activities," CESifo Working Paper Series 1427, CESifo Group Munich.
- Tony Addison & George Mavrotas & Mark McGillivray, 2005. "Development assistance and development finance: evidence and global policy agendas," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 819-836.
- Addison, Tony & Mavrotas, George & McGillivray, Mark, 2005. "Development Assistance and Development Finance: Evidence and Global Policy Agendas," Working Paper Series RP2005/23, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Addison, Tony & Mavrotas, George & McGillivray, Mark, 2005. "Aid, Debt Relief and New Sources of Finance for Meeting the Millennium Development Goals," Working Paper Series RP2005/09, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Marcelo Bianconi, 2011. "Transfer programs under alternative insurance schemes and liquidity constraints," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 175-197.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.