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Aid and the Soft Budget Constraint

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  • Thorsten Janus

Abstract

The author applies the theory of the soft budget constraint to explain some stylized facts regarding the outcomes and practice of international aid, including ineffectiveness, white elephants, and volatility. The soft budget constraint can also make aid counterproductive. Nonetheless, actual aid institutions may be constrained optimal responses to soft budgets and commonly suggested reforms such as improved donor coordination in aid, focus on fewer countries and projects, and less volatility of aid may lower the effectiveness of aid. The soft budget is also consistent with conservative project selection and the recent focus on "ownership." Copyright © 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Janus, 2009. "Aid and the Soft Budget Constraint," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 264-275, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:13:y:2009:i:2:p:264-275
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. János Kornai, 2014. "The soft budget constraint," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 64(supplemen), pages 25-79, November.
    2. Kornai, János, 2014. "Bevezetés A puha költségvetési korlát című kötethez
      [Introduction to the author s volume entitled Soft Budget Constraint]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 845-897.
    3. Balázs Szent-Iványi, 2015. "Are Democratising Countries Rewarded with Higher Levels of Foreign Aid?," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 65(4), pages 593-615, December.

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