IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Aid unpredictability and absorptive capacity: analyzing disbursement delays in Africa

  • Gaoussou Diarra


    (CERDI, Université d''Auvergne, Clermont 1, France)

This paper examines the extent to which aid disbursement delays could be used as an indicator of the aid unpredictability and absorptive capacity in recipient countries. Since many recipient countries are dependent on aid, disbursement delays might matter for its effectiveness. The emphasis is put on the so-called pipeline approach, according to which, in the short run, disbursement constraints may lead to huge delays and weak rates of aid disbursement relative to commitments. After the literature review on disbursement delays, we use the framework of programmable aid to run some econometric estimations through a dynamic model, an ARDL, for a panel of 48 African countries during the period of 1975–2008. We find disbursement constraints mainly at the short-run level, while the main donor's specific factors seem to be the selectivity and the degree of aid fragmentation. Disbursement rates and rhythms are also influenced by the economic performance and governance quality of the recipient countries and the share of grants in aid modalities. Bilateral donors are found to under-perform in comparison with multilateral donors in terms of the rhythm of aid disbursement.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 31 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1004-1017

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-10-00493
Contact details of provider:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Gérard CHAMBAS & Christopher ADAM & Jan Willem GUNNING, 2003. "Performance-Based Conditionality: A European Perspective," Working Papers 200306, CERDI.
  2. Hagen, Rune Jansen, 2006. "Samaritan agents? On the strategic delegation of aid policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 249-263, February.
  3. Michael Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting Chickens When They Hatch: The Short-term Effect of Aid on Growth," Working Papers 44, Center for Global Development.
  4. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Joshua Aizenman, 2007. "Aid Volatility and Poverty Traps," NBER Working Papers 13400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Tichit, Ariane, 2002. "Bilateral Donors' Aid Allocation Decisions: A Three-dimensional Panel Analysis," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. J. Atsu Amegashie & Bazoumana Ouattara & Eric Strobl, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," Working Papers 0702, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  7. Svensson, J., 1995. "When Is Foreign Aid Policy Credible? Aid Dependence and Conditionality," Papers 600, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Fielding, David & Mavrotas, George, 2005. "The Volatility of Aid," Working Paper Series DP2005/06, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Guillaumont, Patrick, 2007. "Assessing the Economic Vulnerability of Small Island Developing States and the Least Developed Countries," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. Oya Celasun & Jan Walliser, 2008. "Predictability of aid: Do fickle donors undermine aid effectiveness?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 545-594, 07.
  11. 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.
  12. A. Javier Hamann & Ales Bulir, 2006. "Volatility of Development Aid: From the Frying Pan into the Fire?," IMF Working Papers 06/65, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Subramanian, Arvind, 2011. "Aid, Dutch disease, and manufacturing growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 106-118, January.
  14. Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Why conditional aid does not work and what can be done about it?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 381-402, April.
  15. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Isopi, Alessia & Mavrotas, George, 2006. "Aid Allocation and Aid Effectiveness: An Empirical Analysis," Working Paper Series RP2006/07, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  17. Villanger, Espen, 2006. "Company interests and foreign aid policy: Playing donors off against one another," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 533-545, April.
  18. Odedokun, Matthew, 2003. "Analysis of Deviations and Delays in Aid Disbursements," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  19. Azam, Jean-Paul & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 2003. "Contracting for aid," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 25-58, February.
  20. 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).
  21. Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2007. "Absorptive Capacity: More Than the Volume of Aid, its Modalities Matter," Working Papers 200702, CERDI.
  22. Bowman, Chakriya & Chand, Satish, 2007. "Size Matters: The Impact of Aid on Institutions," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  23. Bulir, Ales & Hamann, A. Javier, 2001. "How Volatile and Unpredictable are Aid Flows, and What are the Policy Implications?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  24. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 1999. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2041, The World Bank.
  25. Buffie, Edward F. & O'Connell, Stephen A. & Adam, Christopher, 2010. "Fiscal inertia, donor credibility, and the monetary management of aid surges," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 287-298, November.
  26. Timothy D. Lane & Ales Bulir, 2002. "Aid and Fiscal Management," IMF Working Papers 02/112, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Bourguignon, Fran.ois & Sundberg, Mark, 2006. "Absorptive Capacity and Achieving the MDGs," Working Paper Series RP2006/47, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  28. Peter S. Heller, 2005. "Pity the Finance Minister: Issues in Managing a Substantial Scaling-Up of Aid Flows," IMF Working Papers 05/180, International Monetary Fund.
  29. Robert Lensink & Oliver Morrissey, 2000. "Aid instability as a measure of uncertainty and the positive impact of aid on growth," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 31-49.
  30. 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.
  31. Ale Bulir & A. Javier Hamann, 2003. "Aid Volatility: An Empirical Assessment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 4.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-10-00493. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John P. Conley)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.