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The Political Economy Of U.S. Foreign Aid: American Legislators And The Domestic Politics Of Aid

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  • HELEN V. MILNER
  • DUSTIN H. TINGLEY

Abstract

Are there systematic political economy factors that shape preferences for foreign aid, a key component of American foreign policy? We analyze votes in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 2003 that would increase or decrease foreign aid by considering the political, economic, and ideological characteristics of legislators and their districts. To understand who supports and opposes foreign aid, we utilize theories of foreign economic policy preferences. By examining different types of aid policy, we show that domestic politics and especially the distributional consequences of economic aid can matter. The economic characteristics of a district and its left-right ideological predispositions influence support for aid in a systematic fashion over the nearly 25-year period. Stolper-Samuelson models along with political ideology can help explain legislators' preferences toward aid. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Helen V. Milner & Dustin H. Tingley, 2010. "The Political Economy Of U.S. Foreign Aid: American Legislators And The Domestic Politics Of Aid," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 200-232, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:22:y:2010:i:2:p:200-232
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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Dreher & Peter Nunnenkamp & Maya Schmaljohann, 2015. "The Allocation of German Aid: Self-interest and Government Ideology," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 160-184, March.
    2. Heinrich, Tobias & Kobayashi, Yoshiharu & Bryant, Kristin A., 2016. "Public Opinion and Foreign Aid Cuts in Economic Crises," World Development, Elsevier, pages 66-79.
    3. James Vreeland, 2011. "Foreign aid and global governance: Buying Bretton Woods – the Swiss-bloc case," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, pages 369-391.
    4. Brech, Viktor & Potrafke, Niklas, 2014. "Donor ideology and types of foreign aid," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 61-75.
    5. Dreher, Axel & Minasyan, Anna & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2015. "Government ideology in donor and recipient countries: Does ideological proximity matter for the effectiveness of aid?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 80-92.
    6. Roland Kangni KPODAR & Maëlan LE GOFF, 2012. "Do Remittances Reduce Aid Dependency?," Working Papers P34, FERDI.
    7. Mikami, Satoru, 2014. "A Single-blinded Randomized Controlled Trial to Estimate the Impact of Information to Change Japanese Attitudes towards ODA," Working Papers 84, JICA Research Institute.
    8. Maelan Le Goff & Kangni R Kpodar, 2011. "Do Remittances Reduce Aid Dependency?," IMF Working Papers 11/246, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Redlin, Margarete & Gries, Thomas & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2014. "Oppressive Governments, US Closeness, and Anti-US Terrorism," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100588, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Pincin, Jared, 2012. "Political power and aid tying practices in the development assistance committee countries," MPRA Paper 39463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Danny Kurban & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Zum Einfluss von Regierungsideologie in Geberländern auf die Verteilung von Entwicklungshilfe," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, pages 30-34.
    12. Baulch, Bob & Tam, Le Vi An, 2013. "The Progressivity and Regressivity of Aid to the Social Sectors," WIDER Working Paper Series 075, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Sarah Sunn Bush, 2016. "When and why is civil society support “made-in-America”? Delegation to non-state actors in American democracy promotion," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, pages 361-385.
    14. Aurore Gary & Audrey-Rose Menard, 2015. "Aid, Trade and Migration : How are OECD countries policies connected in times of crisis?," Working Papers of BETA 2015-11, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    15. de Felice, Damiano, 2015. "Diverging Visions on Political Conditionality: The Role of Domestic Politics and International Socialization in French and British Aid," World Development, Elsevier, pages 26-45.
    16. Anna Minasyan, 2016. "US Aid, US educated Leaders and Economic Ideology," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 215, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    17. Hicks, Daniel L. & Hicks, Joan Hamory & Maldonado, Beatriz, 2016. "Women as policy makers and donors: Female legislators and foreign aid," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, pages 46-60.
    18. Lskavyan, Vahe, 2014. "Donor–recipient ideological differences and economic aid," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 345-347.
    19. Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Does government ideology influence political alignment with the U.S.? An empirical analysis of voting in the UN General Assembly," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, pages 245-268.
    20. Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Does government ideology influence political alignment with the U.S.? An empirical analysis of voting in the UN General Assembly," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, pages 245-268.
    21. Humphreys, Brad & Ruseski, Jane & Zhou, Li, 2015. "Physical Activity, Present Bias, and Habit Formation: Theory and Evidence from Longitudinal Data," Working Papers 2015-6, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    22. Pincin, Jared, 2013. "Political power and aid tying practices in the development assistance committee countries," MPRA Paper 49806, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Juan Felipe Riaño-Rodríguez, 2014. "More than Words and Good Intentions: The Political Agenda-Setting Power," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011011, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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