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Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Beatrice Weder

Critics of foreign aid programs argue that these funds often support corrupt governments and inefficient bureaucracies. Supporters argue that foreign aid can be used to reward good governments. This paper documents that there is no evidence that less corrupt governments receive more foreign aid. On the contrary, according to some measures of corruption, more corrupt governments receive more aid. Also, we could not find any evidence that an increase in foreign aid reduces corruption. In summary, the answer to the question posed in the title is 'no.'

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/00028280260344669
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1126-1137

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:4:p:1126-1137
Note: DOI: 10.1257/00028280260344669
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  1. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. " Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
  3. Brunetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1998. "Credibility of Rules and Economic Growth: Evidence from a Worldwide Survey of the Private Sector," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 353-84, September.
  4. International Monetary Fund, 1997. "Corruption and the Rate of Temptation; Do Low Wages in the Civil Service Cause Corruption?," IMF Working Papers 97/73, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Easterly, William, 1999. "How did highly indebted poor countries become highly indebted? : reviewing two decades of debt relief," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2225, The World Bank.
  6. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
  7. Vito Tanzi, 1994. "Corruption, Governmental Activities, and Markets," IMF Working Papers 94/99, International Monetary Fund.
  8. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  9. Maizels, Alfred & Nissanke, Machiko K., 1984. "Motivations for aid to developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(9), pages 879-900, September.
  10. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Beatrice Weder, 1999. "Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?," NBER Working Papers 7108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, February.
  13. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Lane, Philip R & Tornell, Aaron, 1996. " Power, Growth, and the Voracity Effect," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 213-41, June.
  15. Casella, Alessandra & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Can Foreign Aid Accelerate Stabilisation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 605-19, May.
  16. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-92, May.
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