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Sind Nichtregierungsorganisationen die besseren Entwicklungshelfer?


  • Peter Nunnenkamp
  • Rainer Thiele


Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are widely expected to provide better targeted aid than state agencies with a hidden agenda of commercial and political self-interest. However, principal-agent models question that NGOs decide autonomously on aid allocation. Summarizing the results of four new empirical studies, we show that NGO aid indeed offers no panacea: The focus of NGOs on the neediest recipients turns out to be surprisingly weak. The striking similarities across these studies suggest that poor targeting is not limited to NGO aid of a particular type or from specific sources. NGOs hardly make use of the perceived comparative advantage of working in "difficult environments." Rather, they are strongly inclined to follow the herd of other NGOs and mimic the allocation behavior of state agencies, especially if they depend on public co-financing. Copyright 2009 die Autoren Journal compilation 2009, Verein für Socialpolitik und Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2009. "Sind Nichtregierungsorganisationen die besseren Entwicklungshelfer?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(3), pages 266-289, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:perwir:v:10:y:2009:i:3:p:266-289

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Axel Dreher & Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2008. "Does US aid buy UN general assembly votes? A disaggregated analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 139-164, July.
    2. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Development aid and international politics: Does membership on the UN Security Council influence World Bank decisions?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-18, January.
    3. Nunnenkamp, Peter & Weingarth, Janina & Weisser, Johannes, 2009. "Is NGO aid not so different after all? Comparing the allocation of Swiss aid by private and official donors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 422-438, December.
    4. Dreher, Axel & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Öhler, Hannes & Weisser, Johannes, 2009. "Acting Autonomously or Mimicking the State and Peers? A Panel Tobit Analysis of Financial Dependence and Aid Allocation by Swiss NGOs," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 39946, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Tichit, Ariane, 2004. "Bilateral donors' aid allocation decisions--a three-dimensional panel analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 253-274.
    6. Anna Fruttero & Varun Gauri, 2005. "The Strategic Choices of NGOs: Location Decisions in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 759-787.
    7. Koch, Dirk-Jan & Dreher, Axel & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiele, Rainer, 2009. "Keeping a Low Profile: What Determines the Allocation of Aid by Non-Governmental Organizations?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 902-918, May.
    8. Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2006. "Targeting Aid to the Needy and Deserving: Nothing But Promises?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(9), pages 1177-1201, September.
    9. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    10. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
    11. Axel Dreher & Florian Mölders & Peter Nunnenkamp, 2010. "Aid Delivery through Non-governmental Organisations: Does the Aid Channel Matter for the Targeting of Swedish Aid?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 147-176, February.
    12. Edwards, Michael & Hulme, David, 1996. "Too close for comfort? the impact of official aid on nongovernmental organizations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 961-973, June.
    13. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2006. "The Increasing Selectivity of Foreign Aid, 1984-2003," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2034-2046, December.
    14. Gilles Nancy & Boriana Yontcheva, 2006. "Does NGO Aid Go to the Poor? Empirical Evidence from Europe," IMF Working Papers 06/39, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid


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