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Fungibility and the impact of development assistance: Evidence from Vietnam's health sector

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  • Wagstaff, Adam

Abstract

The apparent fungibility of aid is a challenge to the evaluation of donor-funded development projects, requiring a comparison of the observed outcomes with the outcomes that would have occurred if the project had not gone ahead. Where projects are targeted on specific geographic areas, counterfactual outcomes in each can differ from observed outcomes because the amount of government spending (gross of aid) differs, the productivity of government spending differs, or both. This paper estimates the benefits of two concurrent World Bank health projects in Vietnam targeted on specific provinces. Estimates are derived from a model linking outcomes (under-five mortality) to government spending before and after the project and in project and nonproject provinces, and are presented for different assumptions regarding fungibility of funds (zero and full fungibility) and the impacts of the project on the productivity of government spending (the project modifies productivity in both sectors equally and in neither sector). The estimated mortality reductions are highly insensitive to the assumed degree of fungibility, but highly sensitive to the assumed productivity effects (the estimates range from 1 to 25%). The wide range reflects the uncertainty due to the lack of a genuine control group of provinces.

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  • Wagstaff, Adam, 2011. "Fungibility and the impact of development assistance: Evidence from Vietnam's health sector," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 62-73, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:94:y:2011:i:1:p:62-73
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    Cited by:

    1. Barthel, Fabian & Neumayer, Eric & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Selaya, Pablo, 2014. "Competition for Export Markets and the Allocation of Foreign Aid: The Role of Spatial Dependence among Donor Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 350-365.
    2. Martin Ravallion & Adam Wagstaff, 2012. "The World Bank’s publication record," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 343-368, December.
    3. Donaubauer, Julian & Meyer, Birgit & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2016. "Aid, Infrastructure, and FDI: Assessing the Transmission Channel with a New Index of Infrastructure," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 230-245.
    4. Zareena Begum Irfan & Arpita Nehra & Mohana Mondal, 2015. "Analyzing the Aid Effectiveness on the Living Standard: A Check-up on South East Asian Countries," Working Papers 2015-128, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    5. Morrissey, Oliver, 2015. "Aid and Government Fiscal Behavior: Assessing Recent Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 98-105.
    6. Furukawa, Mitsuaki & Takahata, Junichiro, 2013. "Is GBS Still a Preferable Aid Modality?," Working Papers 50, JICA Research Institute.
    7. Luc Christiaensen & Lei Pan, 2010. "Transfers and Development: Easy Come, Easy Go?," WIDER Working Paper Series 125, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Langlotz, Sarah & Potrafke, Niklas, 2016. "Does development aid increase military expenditure?," Working Papers 0618, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    9. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Acharya, Arnab & Martínez-Álvarez, Melisa, 2012. "Aid Effectiveness in the Health Sector," WIDER Working Paper Series 069, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Martínez Álvarez, Melisa & Borghi, Josephine & Acharya, Arnab & Vassall, Anna, 2016. "Is Development Assistance for Health fungible? Findings from a mixed methods case study in Tanzania," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 161-169.
    12. Urbain Thierry Yogo & Douzounet Mallaye, 2015. "Health Aid and Health Improvement in Sub‐Saharan Africa: Accounting for the Heterogeneity Between Stable States and Post‐Conflict States," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1178-1196, October.
    13. Karim Barkat & Zouhair Mrabet & Mouyad Alsamara, 2016. "Does Official Development Assistance for health from developed countries displace government health expenditure in Sub-Saharan countries?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1616-1635.
    14. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-01 is not listed on IDEAS

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