The search for the key : aid, investment, and policies in Africa
AbstractThe authors'study of aid, investment, and policies in Africa leads them to four principal conclusions: 1) The traditional links between aid, investment, and growth are not robust. Aid does not necessarily finance investment and investment does not necessarily promote growth. 2) Differences in economic policies can explain much of the difference in growth performance. Poor quality of public services, closed trade regimes, financial repression, and macroeconomic mismanagement explain Africa's poor record. 3) Foreign aid cannot easily promote lasting policy reform in countries where there is no strong domestic movement in that direction. Country ownership of reform is more important than donor conditionally. 4) These three conclusions imply that societies themselves must take the lead in putting growth-enhancing policies in place. When this happens, foreign aid can play a powerful supporting role, bringing ideas, technical assistance, and money. The combination of private investment, good policies, and foreign aid is quite powerful. Where do we stand in the search for the key to growth in Africa? Because past"keys"to growth in Africa have failed, the authors are cautious about claims to a new key. But even if aid-cum-private-investment-cum-policy reform falls short of being the one and only key to growth, disbursing aid into good policy environments would be an improvement on current practices.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2070.
Date of creation: 31 Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Decentralization; Fiscal&Monetary Policy; Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Trade and Regional Integration; Achieving Shared Growth; Economic Theory&Research; Economic Growth; Environmental Economics&Policies;
Other versions of this item:
- Dollar, David & Easterly, William, 1999. "The Search for the Key: Aid, Investment and Policies in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(4), pages 546-77, December.
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