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Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid

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  • J. Atsu Amegashie
  • Bazoumana Ouattara
  • Eric Strobl

Abstract

The paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of a donor’s choice of the composition of unrestricted and in-kind/restricted transfers to a recipient and how this composition is adjusted in response to changes in the moral hazard behavior of the recipient. In-kind or restricted transfers may be used, among others, to control a recipient’s moral hazard behavior but may be associated with deadweight losses. Within the context of foreign aid, we use a canonical political agency model to construct a simple signaling game between a possibly corrupt politician in a recipient country and a donor to illustrate the donor’s optimal choice of tied (restricted) and untied foreign aid. We clarify the condition under which a reduction in the recipient’s moral hazard behavior (i.e., improvement in the level of governance) leads to a fall in the proportion of tied aid. We test the predictions of our theoretical analysis using data on the composition of foreign aid by multilateral and bilateral donors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1996.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1996

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Keywords: tied foreign aid; governance; moral hazard; political agency; restricted transfer;

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Cited by:
  1. Raschky, Paul A. & Schwindt, Manijeh, 2012. "On the channel and type of aid: The case of international disaster assistance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 119-131.
  2. Knack, Stephen & Smets, Lodewijk, 2013. "Aid Tying and Donor Fragmentation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 63-76.
  3. Raschky, Paul A. & Schwindt, Manijeh, 2009. "On the channel and type of international disaster aid," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4953, The World Bank.
  4. Tierney, Michael J. & Nielson, Daniel L. & Hawkins, Darren G. & Roberts, J. Timmons & Findley, Michael G. & Powers, Ryan M. & Parks, Bradley & Wilson, Sven E. & Hicks, Robert L., 2011. "More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 1891-1906.
  5. Gaoussou Diarra, 2011. "Aid unpredictability and absorptive capacity: analyzing disbursement delays in Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 1004-1017.
  6. Geethanjali Selvaretnam & Kannika Thampanishvong & David Ulph, . "Saving and Re-building Lives: an Analysis of the Determinants of Disaster Relief," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 1202, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  7. David Zetland, 2010. "Save the poor, shoot some bankers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 331-337, December.

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