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Foreign Aid and Fiscal Policy

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  • Faini, Riccardo

Abstract

Foreign aid has been on a downward trend since at least the early eighties. Despite the commitments of donor governments, the GDP share of foreign aid for DAC countries has fallen to slightly more than 0,2% in the early part of this decade. The purpose of this paper is to explore the macro determinants of the amount of foreign aid. Surprisingly enough, not much attention has been devoted in the literature to this issue. Most of the research has focussed either on the effectiveness of aid (“does aid promote growth and help alleviating poverty”?) or to the cross country allocation of a given amount of foreign aid (“is foreign aid motivated by donor’s political and commercial interests or by recipients’ needs?”). In both cases, the total aid budget is taken as given and its determinants remain therefore unexplored. Our main finding is that the size of the budget aid is a function of the donor country’s fiscal situation, even after controlling for the government’s political orientation, the cyclical position of the donor economy, and its income per capita level. In light of these results, we argue that advocates of foreign aid should strongly lobby in favour of fiscal discipline. The alternative strategy of pushing for a more lenient budgetary treatment of foreign aid may be loaded with risks, and even turn to be counterproductive, particularly if the list of “virtuous” exceptions becomes exceedingly long. This is exactly what seems to have happened with the revision of the Stability and Growth pact.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5721.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5721

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Keywords: fiscal policy; foreign aid;

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References

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  1. David Roodman, 2004. "An Index of Donor Performance," Working Papers 42, Center for Global Development.
  2. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
  3. Papanek, Gustav F, 1972. "The Effect of Aid and other Resource Transfers on Savings and Growth in Less Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 934-50, September.
  4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," NBER Working Papers 11513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  6. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2001. "On the Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-13, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Sep 2003.
  7. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 2004. "Aid, policies, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3251, The World Bank.
  8. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke & Soderbom, Mans, 2001. "On the duration of civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2681, The World Bank.
  9. Lisa CHAUVET & Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2003. "Aid and Growth Revisited: Policy, Economic Vulnerability and Political Instability," Working Papers 200327, CERDI.
  10. Dollar, David & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Scholarly Articles 4553020, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Arvind Subramanian & Raghuram Rajan, 2005. "What Undermines Aid's Impacton Growth?," IMF Working Papers 05/126, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Raghuram Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth," IMF Working Papers 05/127, International Monetary Fund.
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Cited by:
  1. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon, 2013. "How do OECD donor countries distribute foreign aid among developing countries during their fiscal episodes?," Working Papers halshs-00786009, HAL.
  2. Andreas Fuchs & Axel Dreher & Peter Nunnenkamp, 2012. "Determinants of Donor Generosity: A Survey of the Aid Budget Literature," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 121, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  3. Franklin Allen and Giorgia Giovannetti, 2010. "Fragile Countries And The 2008-2009 Crisis," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/13, European University Institute.
  4. Gravier-Rymaszewska, Joanna, 2012. "How Aid Supply Responds to Economic Crises: A Panel VAR Approach," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Era Dabla-Norris & Camelia Minoiu & Luis-Felipe Zanna, 2010. "Business Cycle Fluctuations, Large Shocks, and Development Aid," IMF Working Papers 10/240, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Simone Bertoli & Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Francesco Manaresi, 2007. "Aid performance and its determinants. A comparison of Italy with the OECD norm," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 60(242), pages 271-321.
  7. Andrew Mold & Sebastian Paulo & Annalisa Prizon, 2009. "Taking Stock of the Credit Crunch: Implications for Development Finance and Global Governance," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 277, OECD Publishing.
  8. Dang, Hai-Anh & Knack, Stephen & Rogers, F. Halsey, 2013. "International aid and financial crises in donor countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 232-250.
  9. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon, 2011. "The consequences of Fiscal Episodes in OECD Countries for Aid Supply," Working Papers halshs-00613161, HAL.

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