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Aid versus Trade Revisited: Donor and Recipient Policies in the Presence of Learning-by-Doing


  • Christopher S Adam
  • Stephen A O'Connell


We examine the (non) equivalence of aid and trade preferences as alternative forms of donor assistance in the presence of learning-by-doing externalities in recipient-country export production. Using a model based on van Wijnbergen (1985), we show that switching donor support on the margin from aid to trade preferences can increase recipient-country welfare. Simulations in which the productivity externality also interacts with private capital accumulation and fiscal distortions illustrate the potential growth and welfare gains from a revenue neutral re-orientation of donor assistance. We conclude by considering why these potential dynamic gains remain unexploited by both donors and recipients. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

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  • Christopher S Adam & Stephen A O'Connell, 2004. "Aid versus Trade Revisited: Donor and Recipient Policies in the Presence of Learning-by-Doing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 150-173, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:114:y:2004:i:492:p:150-173

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    Cited by:

    1. Nuno Limão & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2006. "Trade Preferences to Small Developing Countries and the Welfare Costs of Lost Multilateral Liberalization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 217-240.
    2. Takumi Naito, 2013. "Aid for trade, infrastructure, and growth," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(6), pages 886-909, December.
    3. Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann & Thierry Verdier, 2007. "Aid and trade," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 481-507, Autumn.
    4. David Fielding & Fred Gibson, 2013. "Aid and Dutch Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, January.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0127 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2006. "Challenges and Opportunities for Resource Rich Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 5688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. 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.
    8. Emanuel Ornelas, 2016. "Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 5823, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Hoekman, Bernard & Ozden, Caglar, 2005. "Trade preferences and differential treatment of developing countries : a selective survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3566, The World Bank.
    10. Volker Clausen & Hannah Schürenberg-Frosch, 2009. "Aid, Spending Strategies and Productivity Effects – A Multi-sectoral CGE Analysis for Zambia," Ruhr Economic Papers 0127, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
    12. Dierk Herzer & Oliver Morrissey, 2013. "Foreign aid and domestic output in the long run," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(4), pages 723-748, December.
    13. Simone Bertoli & Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Francesco Manaresi, 2007. "Aid performance and its determinants. A comparison of Italy with the OECD norm," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 60(242), pages 271-321.
    14. Thomas McGregor, 2017. "Fiscal Options for Absorbing a Windfall of Natural Resource Revenues – A CGE Model of Oil Discovery in Uganda," OxCarre Working Papers 186, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    15. Clausen, Volker & Schürenberg-Frosch, Hannah, 2012. "Aid, spending strategies and productivity effects: A multi-sectoral CGE analysis for Zambia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2254-2268.
    16. Thierry Tressel & Alessandro Prati, 2006. "Aid Volatility and Dutch Disease; Is There a Role for Macroeconomic Policies?," IMF Working Papers 06/145, International Monetary Fund.

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