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Foreign aid, government behaviour, and fiscal policy in Papua New Guinea

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  • Aaron Batten

Abstract

The paper explores a number of long standing questions surrounding how foreign aid has influenced the fiscal behaviour of the PNG Government. This includes whether grant aid has encouraged the PNG government to be less fiscally responsible and accumulate higher levels of foreign debt; whether grant aid has tended to lower the PNG government's domestic revenue raising efforts; whether grant aid has drawn government expenditures away from key service delivery sectors; and whether budget support and project and program aid have had differential effects with respect to any of the foregoing questions. The analysis reveals several important insights regarding the interplay between foreign aid and public sector fiscal behaviour including evidence that grant aid has been an important source of debt reduction during this period. However, grant aid has tended to erode the domestic tax base, which has limited the government's ability to increase aggregate expenditure levels. Evidence is also found that suggests a significant portion of budget support was spent on key development sectors, although it also undermined domestic revenue collection. A number of policy implications follow. Copyright © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron Batten, 2010. "Foreign aid, government behaviour, and fiscal policy in Papua New Guinea," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 24(2), pages 142-160, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:apacel:v:24:y:2010:i:2:p:142-160
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8411.2010.01264.x
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