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Is the Relationship Between Aid and Economic Growth Nonlinear?

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  • Andros Kourtellos
  • Chih Ming Tan
  • Xiaobo Zhang

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the relationship between foreign aid and growth using recently developed sample splitting methods that allow us to uncover evidence for the existence of heterogeneity and nonlinearity simultaneously. We also implement a new methodology that allows us to deal with model uncertainty in the context of these methods. We find some evidence that aid may have heterogeneous effects on growth across two growth regimes defined by ethnic fractionalization. In particular, countries that belong to a growth regime characterized by levels of ethnic fractionalization above a threshold value experience a negative partial relationship between aid and growth, while those in the regime with ethnic fractionalization below the threshold experience no growth effects from aid at all. Nevertheless, there exists substantial model uncertainty so that attempts to pin down the typology of these growth regimes as being decisively characterized by ethnic fractionalization remain inconclusive. When we account for model uncertainty, we find no evidence to suggest that the relationship between aid and growth is nonlinear. Overall, our results suggest that the partial effect of aid on growth is very likely to be negative although we cannot reject the hypothesis that aid has no effect on growth. In this sense, our findings suggest that aid is potentially counterproductive to growth with outcomes not meeting the expectations of donors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0614.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0614

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Cited by:
  1. David Coyne & Chih Ming Tan, 2012. "Do Political Institutions Yield Multiple Growth Regimes?," Working Paper Series 36_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  2. Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2012. "Aid, Growth and Devolution," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1723-1749.
  3. Rodríguez, Francisco & Shelton, Cameron A., 2013. "Cleaning up the kitchen sink: Specification tests and average derivative estimators for growth econometrics," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 260-273.
  4. Andros Kourtellos & Ioanna Stylianou & Chih Ming Tan, 2014. "Robust Multiple Regimes in Growth Volatility," Working Paper Series 09_14, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  5. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  6. Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2009. "Aid, growth and decentralization," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 09/09, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  7. Cohen-Cole, Ethan B. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Rondina, Giacomo, 2012. "Nonlinearities in growth: From evidence to policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 42-58.
  8. Eriṣ, Mehmet N. & Ulaṣan, Bülent, 2013. "Trade openness and economic growth: Bayesian model averaging estimate of cross-country growth regressions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 867-883.
  9. Cui, Xiaoyong & Gong, Liutang, 2008. "Foreign aid, domestic capital accumulation, and foreign borrowing," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1269-1284, September.
  10. Muhammad Javid & Abdul Qayyum, 2011. "Foreign Aid and Growth Nexus in Pakistan: The Role of Macroeconomic Policies," PIDE-Working Papers 2011:72, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  11. Renkow, Mitch, 2010. "Impacts of IFPRI's "priorities for pro-poor public investment" global research program:," Impact assessments 31, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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