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Foreign Aid, Donor Fragmentation, and Economic Growth


  • Annen Kurt

    () (University of Guelph)

  • Kosempel Stephen

    () (University of Guelph)


This paper analyzes the impact of foreign aid on growth. It differs from the existing literature in at least two important ways. First, we differentiate between foreign aid as technical assistance and non-technical assistance, and demonstrate both theoretically and empirically that this distinction is important. Second, we test the hypothesis that the effectiveness of aid depends on its level of fragmentation. To preview our main results: non-technical assistance has no statistically significant impact on growth; but technical assistance has a positive and significant impact, except in countries where it is highly fragmented.

Suggested Citation

  • Annen Kurt & Kosempel Stephen, 2009. "Foreign Aid, Donor Fragmentation, and Economic Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-32, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Bayraktar, Nihal & El Aynaoui, Karim, 2008. "Roads out of poverty? Assessing the links between aid, public investment, growth, and poverty reduction," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 277-295, June.
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    3. Amegashie, J. Atsu & Ouattara, Bazoumanna & Strobl, Eric, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," MPRA Paper 3158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 May 2007.
    4. Knack, Stephen & Rahman, Aminur, 2007. "Donor fragmentation and bureaucratic quality in aid recipients," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 176-197, May.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    6. Ben R. Craig & William E. Jackson & James B. Thomson, 2004. "On SBA-guaranteed lending and economic growth," Working Paper 0403, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    7. Roland Hodler, 2007. "Rent seeking and aid effectiveness," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(5), pages 525-541, October.
    8. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
    9. repec:kap:iaecre:v:10:y:2004:i:4:p:257-264 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.
    11. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
    12. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    13. Chatterjee, Santanu & Giuliano, Paola & Kaya, Ilker, 2007. "Where Has All the Money Gone? Foreign Aid and the Quest for Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 2858, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. David Cass, 1965. "Optimum Growth in an Aggregative Model of Capital Accumulation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 233-240.
    15. Minoiu, Camelia & Reddy, Sanjay G., 2010. "Development aid and economic growth: A positive long-run relation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 27-39, February.
    16. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
    17. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    18. Miguel-Angel Martín & Agustín Herranz, 2004. "Human capital and economic growth in Spanish regions," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 10(4), pages 257-264, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Yakama Manty, 2013. "Testing the foreign aid-led growth hypothesis in West Africa," MPRA Paper 50361, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Furukawa, Mitsuaki & Mikami, Satoru, 2014. "Is Country-system-based Aid Really Better than Project-based Aid? Evidence from Rural Water Supply Management in Uganda," Working Papers 64, JICA Research Institute.
    3. Christian Leßmann & Gunther Markwardt, 2010. "Decentralization and Foreign Aid Effectiveness: Do Aid Modality and Federal Design Matter in Poverty Alleviation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3035, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. J. Atsu Amegashie & Bazoumana Ouattara, 2011. "An Empirical Inquiry into the Nature of Welfarism," CESifo Working Paper Series 3318, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:3:p:627-663 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fløgstad, Cathrin & Hagen, Rune Jansen, 2017. "Aid Dispersion: Measurement in Principle and Practice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 232-250.
    7. Chatterjee Santanu & Giuliano Paola & Kaya Ilker, 2012. "Where Has All the Money Gone? Foreign Aid and the Composition of Government Spending," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-36, August.
    8. Annen, Kurt & Batu, Michael & Kosempel, Stephen, 2016. "Macroeconomic effects of foreign aid and remittances: Implications for aid effectiveness studies," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1136-1146.
    9. Kai Gehring & Katharina Michaelowa & Axel Dreher & Franziska Spörri, 2015. "Do we know what we think we know? Aid fragmentation and effectiveness revisited," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 185, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    10. Milena Lopreite & Michelangelo Puliga & Massimo Riccaboni, 2018. "The Global Health Networks: A Comparative Analysis of Tuberculosis, Malaria and Pneumonia Using Social Media Data," Working Papers 01/2018, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Jan 2018.
    11. Knack, Stephen & Rogers, F. Halsey & Eubank, Nicholas, 2011. "Aid Quality and Donor Rankings," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 1907-1917.
    12. repec:oup:wbecrv:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:708-729. is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Carl-Johan, Dalgaard & Henrik, Hansen, 2010. "Evaluating Aid Effectiveness in the Aggregate: A critical assessment of the evidence," MPRA Paper 23026, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Annen,Kurt & Knack,Stephen, 2015. "On the delegation of aid implementation to multilateral agencies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7455, The World Bank.
    15. Łukasz Marć, 2017. "The Impact of Aid on Total Government Expenditures: New Evidence on Fungibility," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 627-663, August.
    16. Alessandra Pelloni & Thanasis Stengos & Ilaria Tedesco, 2018. "Aid to agriculture, trade and take-off," Working Paper series 18-04, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    17. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:320-334 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Kurt Annen & Michael Batu & Stephen Kosempel, 2014. "A DSGE-RBC Approach to Measuring Impacts of Wealth Transfers," Working Papers 1404, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    19. Kurt Annen & Luc Moers, 2017. "Donor Competition for Aid Impact, and Aid Fragmentation," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 708-729.
    20. Yakama Manty Jones, 2013. "Testing the Foreign Aid-led Growth Hypothesis in West Africa," Management Working Papers 3, Birkbeck Department of Management, revised Apr 2013.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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