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Forced to Freedom? Empirical Relations between Aid and Economic Freedom

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  • Tobias Knedlik
  • Franz Kronthaler

Abstract

The paper explores the relationships between economic freedom on the one side and development aid and IMF credit as approximation for conditional aid on the other side. After a short review of current literature on the issue of economic development, economic freedom, aid, and IMF credit, the paper develops a simple panel regression model to evaluate the relationship between “economic freedom” as dependent variable and “aid” and “IMF credit” as independent variables. The estimation is based upon data taken from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators and the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom. In contrast to previous research, our results allow the rejection of the hypothesis that IMF credit increases economic freedom and that aid is not contributing to economic freedom. The estimation results suggest that, firstly, aid is positively correlated with economic freedom, and secondly, that IMF credit is negatively correlated with economic freedom. Taking IMF credit as proxy for conditional aid, we conclude that for the period of observation it could not be shown that countries can be forced to economic freedom by aid conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Halle Institute for Economic Research in its series IWH Discussion Papers with number 8.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:iwh:dispap:8-06

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Keywords: aid; economic freedom; IMF credit; economic development;

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  1. Paul Collier & David Dollar, 2004. "Development effectiveness: what have we learnt?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages F244-F271, 06.
  2. Heckelman, Jac & Knack, Stephen, 2005. "Foreign aid and market-liberalizing reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3557, The World Bank.
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  16. Dawson, John W, 1998. "Institutions, Investment, and Growth: New Cross-Country and Panel Data Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 603-19, October.
  17. Heckelman, Jac C & Stroup, Michael D, 2000. "Which Economic Freedoms Contribute to Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 527-44.
  18. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2003. "Does more democracy lead to greater economic freedom? New evidence for developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 547-563, September.
  19. Scully, Gerald W & Slottje, Daniel J, 1991. " Ranking Economic Liberty across Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 69(2), pages 121-52, February.
  20. Tony Addison & George Mavrotas & Mark McGillivray, 2005. "Aid to Africa: an unfinished agenda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 989-1001.
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