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Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle

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  • Stéphane Pallage
  • Michel A. Robe

Abstract

This paper documents empirical regularities in the foreign aid flows to developing countries over three decades. In spite of a large body of literature on foreign aid and its impact on recipients, surprisingly little is known about its business cycle characteristics. The authors show that for the vast majority of African recipients, aid flows are a major source of income that is highly volatile and, most importantly, overwhelmingly procyclical. For recipients outside of Africa, there is a similar—if somewhat less pronounced—pattern of aid procyclicality. In contrast, there is little evidence of aid procyclicality with the business cycle of donors. In light of the very high volatility of output in developing countries, the procyclicality of foreign aid flows from the recipients’ perspective raises serious questions related to their welfare and growth.

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  • Stéphane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2001. "Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 641-672, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:9:y:2001:i:4:p:641-672
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9396.00305
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    Cited by:

    1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ali, Sharafat & Ahmad, Najid, 2013. "A Time Series Analysis of Foreign Aid and Income Inequality in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 48877, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Odia Ndongo, Yves Francis, 2006. "Datation du Cycle du PIB Camerounais entre 1960 et 2003," MPRA Paper 552, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. João T. Jalles, 2020. "Explaining Africa's public consumption procyclicality: Revisiting old evidence," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 297-323, August.
    5. Lisa Chauvet & Patrick Guillaumont, 2009. "Aid, Volatility, and Growth Again: When Aid Volatility Matters and When it Does Not," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 452-463, August.
    6. Almuth Scholl, 2009. "Aid Effectiveness and Limited Enforceable Conditionality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(2), pages 377-391, April.
    7. World Bank, 2005. "Global Development Finance 2005 : Mobilizing Finance and Managing Vulnerability, Volume 1. Analysis and Statistical Appendix," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 8135.
    8. Arellano, Cristina & Bulír, Ales & Lane, Timothy & Lipschitz, Leslie, 2009. "The dynamic implications of foreign aid and its variability," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 87-102, January.
    9. Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm, 2021. "Aid for trade unpredictability and trade-related government expenditure in recipient-countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 107-125.
    10. Stephane Pallage & Michel Robe, 2000. "Magnitude X on the Richter Scale: Welfare Cost of Business Cycles in Developing Countries," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 124, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    11. Kar, Saibal, 2008. "Migrant remittances in the state of Kerala, India," MPRA Paper 103805, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Abdulnasser Hatemi-J & Manuchehr Irandoust, 2005. "Foreign Aid And Economic Growth: New Evidence From Panel Cointegration," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 71-80, June.
    13. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon, 2011. "The consequences of Fiscal Episodes in OECD Countries for Aid Supply," Working Papers halshs-00613161, HAL.
    14. Pietro Alessandrini & Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2011. "Low-Income Countries Vulnerabilities and the Need for an SDR-Based International Monetary System," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 55, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    15. Ruth Vargas Hill, 2005. "Assessing rhetoric and reality in the predictability of aid," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2005-25, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    16. Larru, Jose Maria, 2009. "A structural analysis of foreign aid to ten Mediterranean countries," MPRA Paper 17865, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Irandoust, Manuchehr & Ericsson, Johan, 2005. "Foreign aid, domestic savings, and growth in LDCs: An application of likelihood-based panel cointegration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 616-627, July.
    18. ODIA NDONGO, Yves Francis, 2007. "Les sources des fluctuations marcoéconomiques au Cameroun," MPRA Paper 1308, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Pincin, Jared, 2012. "Political power and aid tying practices in the development assistance committee countries," MPRA Paper 39463, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid

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