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

Aid effectiveness: the role of the local elite

  • Angeles, Luis
  • Neanidis, Kyriakos C.

We study the importance of the local elite as a determinant of the effectiveness of foreign aid in developing countries. The local elite serves as an intermediary between aid donors and aid recipients through its control of the government and major firms. The likelihood of misusing aid is large if the elite is characterized by extensive economic and political power and little concern for social groups besides itself. To determine which countries have this type of elite we use a historically determined variable: the percentage of European settlers in total population in colonial times. We provide strong empirical evidence that the level of European settlement in colonial times is negatively related to the effectiveness of foreign aid as measured in a growth-regression framework. Our results are robust to the inclusion of a wide set of alternative explanatory factors advanced in the aid effectiveness literature.

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: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 90 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 120-134

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:90:y:2009:i:1:p:120-134
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, EconWPA.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  4. C. S. Adam & S. A. O'Connell, 1999. "Aid, Taxation and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 225-253, November.
  5. javed Ashraf & Birjees Ashraf, 2000. "Ethnicity and Earnings: An Analysis of Data for Karachi," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 39(4), pages 441-449.
  6. P. Guillaumont & L. Chauvet, 2001. "Aid and Performance: A Reassessment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 66-92.
  7. Luis Angeles, 2005. "Income Inequality and Colonialism," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0543, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1996. "Reorganization of Firms and Labour Market Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. David Roodman, 2004. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-country Empirics," Development and Comp Systems 0412003, EconWPA.
  10. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
  11. Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "Foreign aid and rent-seeking," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1880, The World Bank.
  12. C-J. Dalgaard & H. Hansen, 2001. "On Aid, Growth and Good Policies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 17-41.
  13. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  14. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  15. Raghuram Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," IMF Working Papers 05/127, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  18. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2009. "Colonialism and Modern Income: Islands as Natural Experiments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 245-262, May.
  19. Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics," NBER Working Papers 9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  21. George Economides & Sarantis Kalyvitis & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2004. "Do Foreign Aid Transfers Distort Incentives and Hurt Growth? Theory and Evidence from 75 Aid-recipient Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1156, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. M. Piva & E. Santarelli & M. Vivarelli, 2003. "The Skill Bias Effect of Technological and Organisational Change: Evidenceand Policy Implications," Working Papers 486, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  23. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 1999. "Aid Effectiveness Disputed," MPRA Paper 62290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. Lisa CHAUVET & Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2003. "Aid and Growth Revisited: Policy, Economic Vulnerability and Political Instability," Working Papers 200327, CERDI.
  25. Catherine Robinson & Mary O'Mahony & Michela Vecchi, 2004. "The Impact Of ICT On The Demand For Skilled Labour: A Cross-Country Comparison," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 91, Royal Economic Society.
  26. Sanjay Reddy & Camelia Minoiu, 2009. "Development Aid and Economic Growth: A Positive Long-Run Relation," IMF Working Papers 09/118, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Martin Mühleisen & Dhaneshwar Ghura & Roger Nord & Michael T. Hadjimichael & E. Murat Ucer, 1995. "Sub-Saharan Africa: Growth, Savings, and Investment, 1986-93," IMF Occasional Papers 118, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Haskel, Jonathan, 2005. "Skills, Workforce Characteristics and Firm-Level Productivity: Evidence from the Matched ABI/Employer Skills Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  29. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  30. 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.
  31. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
  32. Donald Siegel, 1998. "The Impact Of Technological Change On Employment: Evidence From A Firm-Level Survey Of Long Island Manufacturers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2-4), pages 227-246.
  33. J. Svensson, 1999. "Aid, Growth and Democracy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 275-297, November.
  34. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  35. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2004. "On The Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages F191-F216, 06.
  36. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  37. Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Does foreign aid corrupt?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 99-106, April.
  38. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
  39. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  40. Nathalie Greenan, 2003. "Organisational change, technology, employment and skills: an empirical study of French manufacturing," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 287-316, March.
  41. Ajwad, Mohamed Ihsan & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep, 2002. "Ethnic and gender wagedisparities in Sri Lanka," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2859, The World Bank.
  42. Bob Baulch & Truong Thi Kim Chuyen & Dominique Haughton & Jonathan Haughton, 2007. "Ethnic minority development in Vietnam," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(7), pages 1151-1176.
  43. R. Lensink & H. White, 2001. "Are There Negative Returns to Aid?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 42-65.
  44. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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:eee:deveco:v:90:y:2009:i:1:p:120-134. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.