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Does conditionality work? A test for an innovative US aid scheme

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  • Öhler, Hannes
  • Nunnenkamp, Peter
  • Dreher, Axel

Abstract

Performance-based aid has been proposed as an alternative to the failed traditional approach whereby donors make aid conditional on the reform promises of recipient countries. However, hardly any empirical evidence exists on whether ex post rewards are effective in inducing reforms. We attempt to fill this gap by investigating whether the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was successful in promoting better control of corruption. We employ a difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) approach, considering different ways of defining the treatment group as well as different time periods during which incentive effects could have materialized. We find evidence of strong anticipation effects immediately after the announcement of the MCC, while increasing uncertainty about the timing and amount of MCC aid appears to have weakened the incentive to fight corruption over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Öhler, Hannes & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Dreher, Axel, 2012. "Does conditionality work? A test for an innovative US aid scheme," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 138-153.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:1:p:138-153
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2011.05.003
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    2. David Fielding, 2014. "The Dynamics of Aid and Political Rights," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(9), pages 1197-1218, September.
    3. Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline & Jean-Christophe Poudou & Sébastien Roussel, 2012. "North / South Contractual Design through the REDD+ Scheme," Working Papers 2012.89, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00747405 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kim, Youngwan & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Bagchi, Chandreyee, 2014. "Natural disasters and private donations to NGOs: The effects of being present after the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean," Kiel Working Papers 1890, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Youngwan Kim & Peter Nunnenkamp, 2015. "Does It Pay for US-based NGOs to Go to War? Empirical Evidence for Afghanistan and Iraq," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(3), pages 387-414, May.
    7. Kleemann, Linda & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiele, Rainer, 2014. "Gender inequality, female leadership, and aid allocation: A panel analysis of aid for education," WIDER Working Paper Series 010, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Lange, Simon & Klasen, Stephan, 2017. "How the New International Goal for Child Mortality is Unfair to Sub-Saharan Africa (Again)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 128-146.
    9. Chiroleu-Assouline, Mireille & Poudou, Jean-Christophe & Roussel, Sébastien, 2018. "Designing REDD+ contracts to resolve additionality issues," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-17.
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    11. Hodler, Roland & Dreher, Axel, 2013. "Development (paradigm) failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 63-74.
    12. Li, Larry & Sy, Malick & McMurray, Adela, 2015. "Insights into the IMF bailout debate: A review and research agenda," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 891-914.
    13. Joseph Forson, 2015. "Corruption, EU Aid Inflows and Economic Growth in Ghana: Cointegration and Causality Analysis," Managing Intellectual Capital and Innovation for Sustainable and Inclusive Society: Managing Intellectual Capital and Innovation; Proceedings of the MakeLearn and TIIM Joint International Conference 2, ToKnowPress.
    14. Dreher, Axel & Gehring, Kai & Klasen, Stephan, 2015. "Gesture Politics or Real Commitment? Gender Inequality and the Allocation of Aid," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 464-480.
    15. Acht, Martin & Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Thiele, Rainer, 2014. "Corrupt governments receive less bilateral aid: Governance and the delivery of foreign aid through non-government actors," Kiel Working Papers 1901, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    16. Simon, Jenny & Valasek, Justin Mattias, 2016. "The political economy of multilateral aid funds," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2016-303, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    17. repec:bla:sajeco:v:85:y:2017:i:2:p:178-195 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Fuchs, Andreas & Klann, Nils-Hendrik, 2013. "Emergency Aid 2.0," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79898, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Acht, Martin & Mahmoud, Toman Omar & Thiele, Rainer, 2015. "Corrupt governments do not receive more state-to-state aid: Governance and the delivery of foreign aid through non-state actors," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 20-33.
    20. Sonntag, Diana, 2012. "Rethinking aid for AIDS A public good approach," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62080, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign aid; Corruption; Millennium Challenge Corporation; MCC effect;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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