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Individual and country-level factors affecting support for foreign aid

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  • Paxton, Pamela
  • Knack, Stephen

Abstract

In recent years donor countries have committed to dramatic increases in the supply of foreign aid to developing countries. Meeting and sustaining such commitments will require sufficient support among donor country voters and taxpayers. The determinants of public opinion in donor countries on foreign aid have received little attention. This paper examines attitudes to foreign aid with a large, multi-level, cross-national study. It outlines a theoretical rationale for support for foreign aid, discussing the importance of both individual factors and economic and social structures. The theory is tested with multi-level models, including both individual-level and country-level variables to predict positive attitudes. Two datasets are used to measure attitudes in donor countries: (1) the 1995 World Values Survey has information from approximately 6,000 individuals in nine countries and asks a rich battery of questions at the individual-level, and (2) the 2002 Gallup"Voice of the People"survey asks fewer questions of individuals but includes 17 donor countries. Using both surveys combines theirdistinct strengths and allows tests of individual and national-level theories across disparate samples. The results generally support the predictions that attitudes toward aid are influenced by religiosity, beliefs about the causes of poverty, awareness of international affairs, and trust in people and institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4714.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4714

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Related research

Keywords: Post Conflict Reconstruction; Gender and Health; Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness; Foreign Aid; Disability;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Hatzipanayotou, Panos & Michael, Michael S., 1995. "Foreign aid and public goods," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 455-467, August.
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  3. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  4. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
  5. David Roodman, 2004. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-country Empirics," Development and Comp Systems 0412003, EconWPA.
  6. Mosley, Paul, 1985. "The Political Economy of Foreign Aid: A Model of the Market for a Public Good," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 373-93, January.
  7. Fisman, Raymond & Khanna, Tarun, 1999. "Is trust a historical residue? Information flows and trust levels," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 79-92, January.
  8. Dudley, Leonard & Montmarquette, Claude, 1976. "A Model of the Supply of Bilateral Foreign Aid," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 132-42, March.
  9. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  10. Delhey, Jan & Newton, Kenneth, 2004. "Social trust: global pattern or nordic exceptionalism?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2004-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  11. David Roodman & Scott Standley, 2006. "Tax policies to promote private charitable giving in DAC countries," Working Papers 82, Center for Global Development.
  12. Mark Gradstein & Alberto E. Chong, 2006. "Who's Afraid of Foreign Aid?: The Donors' Perspective," IDB Publications 6706, Inter-American Development Bank.
  13. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2006. "Who's Afraid of Foreign Aid? The Donors' Perspective," Research Department Publications 4452, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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Cited by:
  1. Ball, Richard, 2010. "Cultural values and public policy: The case of international development aid," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-16, February.

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