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The costs of favoritism: Is politically-driven aid less effective?

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  • Axel Dreher

    (Georg-August University Göttingen)

  • Stephan Klasen

    (Georg-August University Göttingen)

  • James Raymond Vreeland

    (Georgetown University)

  • Eric Werker

    (Harvard Business School)

Abstract

As is now well documented, aid is given for both political as well as economic reasons. The conventional wisdom is that politically-motivated aid is less effective in promoting developmental objectives. We examine the ex-post performance ratings of World Bank projects and generally find that projects that are potentially politically motivated – such as those granted to governments holding a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council or an Executive Directorship at the World Bank – are no more likely, on average, to get a negative quality rating than other projects. When aid is given to Security Council members with higher short-term debt, however, a negative quality rating is more likely. So we find evidence that World Bank project quality suffers as a consequence of political influence only when the recipient country is economically vulnerable in the first place.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 26.

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Date of creation: 11 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:026

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Keywords: World Bank; Aid Effectiveness; Political Influence; United Nations Security Council;

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Cited by:
  1. Humphrey, Chris & Michaelowa, Katharina, 2013. "Shopping for Development: Multilateral Lending, Shareholder Composition and Borrower Preferences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 142-155.
  2. Denizer, Cevdet & Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2013. "Good countries or good projects? Macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 288-302.
  3. Sivlai Marchesi & Emanuela Sirtori, 2010. "Is two better than one? Effects on growth of Bank-Fund interaction," Working Papers 189, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2010.
  4. Ugo Panizza, 2013. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns," IHEID Working Papers 14-2013, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  5. Kraay, Aart & Kraay, Aart & Murrell, Peter, 2013. "Misunderestimating corruption," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6488, The World Bank.
  6. James Vreeland, 2011. "Foreign aid and global governance: Buying Bretton Woods – the Swiss-bloc case," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 369-391, September.
  7. Christopher Kilby, 2011. "The Political Economy of Project Preparation: An Empirical Analysis of World Bank Projects," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 14, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.

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