IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v208y2022ics0047272722000068.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Home bias in humanitarian aid: The role of regional favoritism in the allocation of international disaster relief

Author

Listed:
  • Bommer, Christian
  • Dreher, Axel
  • Perez-Alvarez, Marcello

Abstract

This paper investigates whether regional favoritism shapes humanitarian aid flows. Using a rich and unique dataset derived from reports of the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), we show that substantially larger amounts of aid are disbursed when exogenous natural disasters hit the birth region of the recipient countries’ political leader. While we find no evidence that US commercial or political interests affect the size of this home bias, the bias is stronger in countries with a weaker bureaucracy and governance, suggesting the absence of effective safeguards in the allocation of aid.

Suggested Citation

  • Bommer, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Perez-Alvarez, Marcello, 2022. "Home bias in humanitarian aid: The role of regional favoritism in the allocation of international disaster relief," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 208(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:208:y:2022:i:c:s0047272722000068
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2022.104604
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272722000068
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2022.104604?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hollyer, James R. & Rosendorff, B. Peter & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2015. "Transparency, Protest, and Autocratic Instability," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 764-784, November.
    2. Carozzi, Felipe & Repetto, Luca, 2016. "Sending the pork home: Birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 42-52.
    3. Stephan Schneider & Sven Kunze, 2021. "Disastrous Discretion: Ambiguous Decision Situations Foster Political Favoritism," KOF Working papers 21-491, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    4. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
    5. Marchesi, Silvia & Sabani, Laura & Dreher, Axel, 2011. "Read my lips: The role of information transmission in multilateral reform design," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 86-98, May.
    6. David Strömberg, 2007. "Natural Disasters, Economic Development, and Humanitarian Aid," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 199-222, Summer.
    7. Andréas Heinen & Jeetendra Khadan & Eric Strobl, 2019. "The Price Impact of Extreme Weather in Developing Countries," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(619), pages 1327-1342.
    8. Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs, 2015. "Rogue aid? An empirical analysis of China's aid allocation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 988-1023, August.
    9. Krzysztof Karbownik & Anthony Wray, 2019. "Long-Run Consequences of Exposure to Natural Disasters," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(3), pages 949-1007.
    10. Annen, Kurt & Strickland, Scott, 2017. "Global samaritans? Donor election cycles and the allocation of humanitarian aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 38-47.
    11. Quoc-Anh Do & Kieu-Trang Nguyen & Anh N. Tran, 2017. "One Mandarin Benefits the Whole Clan: Hometown Favoritism in an Authoritarian Regime," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-29, October.
    12. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2017. "Political alignment and intergovernmental transfers in parliamentary systems: evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 75-98, April.
    13. Kai Gehring & Stephan A. Schneider, 2018. "Towards the Greater Good? EU Commissioners' Nationality and Budget Allocation in the European Union," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 214-239, February.
    14. Rommel, Tobias & Schaudt, Paul, 2020. "First impressions: How leader changes affect bilateral aid," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 185(C).
    15. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
    16. Robin Burgess & Remi Jedwab & Edward Miguel & Ameet Morjaria & Gerard Padró i Miquel, 2015. "The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(6), pages 1817-1851, June.
    17. Axel Dreher & Vera Eichenauer & Kai Gehring & Vera Z. Eichenauer, 2013. "Geopolitics, Aid and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4299, CESifo.
    18. Phoebe Li, 2021. "Intellectual property for humanity: A manifesto," Chapters, in: Daniel J. Gervais (ed.), The Future of Intellectual Property, chapter 2, pages 9-36, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Jayne, Thomas S. & Strauss, John & Yamano, Takashi & Molla, Daniel, 2002. "Targeting of food aid in rural Ethiopia: chronic need or inertia?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 247-288, August.
    20. Vreeland,James Raymond & Dreher,Axel, 2014. "The Political Economy of the United Nations Security Council," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521740067, November.
    21. Raschky, Paul A. & Schwindt, Manijeh, 2012. "On the channel and type of aid: The case of international disaster assistance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 119-131.
    22. Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati & Arusha Cooray & Samuel Brazys, 2018. "Nothing to hide: Commitment to, compliance with, and impact of the special data dissemination standard," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 55-77, March.
    23. Andreas Fuchs & Kai Gehring, 2017. "The Home Bias in Sovereign Ratings," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(6), pages 1386-1423.
    24. Anaxagorou, Christiana & Efthyvoulou, Georgios & Sarantides, Vassilis, 2020. "Electoral motives and the subnational allocation of foreign aid in sub-Saharan Africa," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    25. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U. S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728.
    26. Michael Faye & Paul Niehaus, 2012. "Political Aid Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3516-3530, December.
    27. Silvia Marchesi & Tania Masi, 2021. "Delegation of implementation in project aid," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 655-687, July.
    28. Julian Wucherpfennig & Nils B. Weidmann & Luc Girardin & Lars-Erik Cederman & Andreas Wimmer, 2011. "Politically Relevant Ethnic Groups across Space and Time: Introducing the GeoEPR Dataset1," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 28(5), pages 423-437, November.
    29. Francken, Nathalie & Minten, Bart & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2012. "The Political Economy of Relief Aid Allocation: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 486-500.
    30. Clare S. K. Lee & Ming Fung Cheung & Jinsen Li & Yongqian Zhao & Wai Hei Lam & Vincy Ho & Remo Rohs & Yuanliang Zhai & Danny Leung & Bik-Kwoon Tye, 2021. "Humanizing the yeast origin recognition complex," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 12(1), pages 1-11, December.
    31. Eichenauer, Vera Z. & Fuchs, Andreas & Kunze, Sven & Strobl, Eric, 2020. "Distortions in aid allocation of United Nations flash appeals: Evidence from the 2015 Nepal earthquake," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    32. Fuchs, Andreas & Klann, Nils-Hendrik, 2013. "Paying a visit: The Dalai Lama effect on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 164-177.
    33. Labonne, Julien, 2016. "Local political business cycles: Evidence from Philippine municipalities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 56-62.
    34. Broussard, Nzinga H. & Dercon, Stefan & Somanathan, Rohini, 2014. "Aid and agency in Africa: Explaining food disbursements across Ethiopian households, 1994–2004," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 128-137.
    35. Axel Dreher & Vera Z Eichenauer & Kai Gehring, 2018. "Geopolitics, Aid, and Growth: The Impact of UN Security Council Membership on the Effectiveness of Aid," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 32(2), pages 268-286.
    36. Kui-Wai Li, 2021. "Measurement of Values in Humanity Sciences," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: CONCEPTUAL ECONOMICS The Liaising Role in Politics and Social Sciences, chapter 7, pages 189-218, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    37. Taryn Dinkelman, 2017. "Long‐run Health Repercussions of Drought Shocks: Evidence from South African Homelands," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 1906-1939, September.
    38. David Roodman & James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2019. "Fast and wild: Bootstrap inference in Stata using boottest," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 19(1), pages 4-60, March.
    39. Caruso, Germán Daniel, 2017. "The legacy of natural disasters: The intergenerational impact of 100 years of disasters in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 209-233.
    40. Roland Hodler & Paul A. Raschky, 2014. "Regional Favoritism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 129(2), pages 995-1033.
    41. Dreher, Axel & Fuchs, Andreas & Hodler, Roland & Parks, Bradley C. & Raschky, Paul A. & Tierney, Michael J., 2019. "African leaders and the geography of China's foreign assistance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 44-71.
    42. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2014. "Naturally negative: The growth effects of natural disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 92-106.
    43. Fearon, James D. & Kasara, Kimuli & Laitin, David D., 2007. "Ethnic Minority Rule and Civil War Onset," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 187-193, February.
    44. Fiva, Jon H. & Halse, Askill H., 2016. "Local favoritism in at-large proportional representation systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 15-26.
    45. Raschky, Paul A. & Schwindt, Manijeh, 2009. "On the channel and type of international disaster aid," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4953, The World Bank.
    46. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/sj22pruud8a7b8cdlvom4sbtp is not listed on IDEAS
    47. Gershman, Boris & Rivera, Diego, 2018. "Subnational diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from a new dataset," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 231-263.
    48. Taryn Dinkelman, 2017. "Long‐Run Health Repercussions of Drought Shocks: Evidence from South African Homelands," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 1906-1939.
    49. Daniel Berger & William Easterly & Nathan Nunn & Shanker Satyanath, 2013. "Commercial Imperialism? Political Influence and Trade during the Cold War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 863-896, April.
    50. De Luca, Giacomo & Hodler, Roland & Raschky, Paul A. & Valsecchi, Michele, 2018. "Ethnic favoritism: An axiom of politics?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 115-129.
    51. Ball, Richard & Johnson, Christopher, 1996. "Political, Economic, and Humanitarian Motivations for PL 480 Food Aid: Evidence from Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 515-537, April.
    52. Samuel Brazys & Johan A. Elkink & Gina Kelly, 2017. "Bad neighbors? How co-located Chinese and World Bank development projects impact local corruption in Tanzania," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 227-253, June.
    53. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler & Maximiliano Sosa Andrés, 2017. "Need, Merit and Politics in Multilateral Aid Allocation: A District†level Analysis of World Bank Projects in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 126-156, February.
    54. Suresh De Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2012. "Enterprise Recovery Following Natural Disasters," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 64-91, March.
    55. Nils B. Weidmann & Jan Ketil Roslashd & Lars-Erik Cederman, 2010. "Representing ethnic groups in space: A new dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 491-499, July.
    56. Andrea Guariso & Thorsten Rogall, 2017. "Rainfall Inequality, Political Power, and Ethnic Conflict in Africa," LICOS Discussion Papers 39117, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    57. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Widmer, Philine & Zurlinden, Noémie, 2022. "Ministers Engage in Favoritism Too," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 213(C).
    2. Weihong Qi, 2024. "Revisiting the Resource Curse in the Age of Energy Transition: Cobalt Reserves and Conflict in Africa," Papers 2404.17713, arXiv.org.
    3. Wellner, Lukas & Dreher, Axel & Fuchs, Andreas & Parks, Bradley & Strange, Austin M., 2022. "Can aid buy foreign public support? Evidence from Chinese development finance," Kiel Working Papers 2214, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    4. Asmus, Gerda & Eichenauer, Vera & Fuchs, Andreas & Parks, Bradley, 2021. "Does India use development finance to compete with China? A subnational analysis," Kiel Working Papers 2189, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    5. Resce, Giuliano & Vaquero-Piñeiro, Cristina, 2023. "Taste of home: Birth town bias in Geographical Indications," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp23089, University of Molise, Department of Economics.
    6. Dreher, Axel & Lang, Valentin & Reinsberg, Bernhard, 2024. "Aid effectiveness and donor motives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    7. Brice Fabre & Marc Sangnier, 2022. "Where do politicians send pork? Evidence from central government transfers to French municipalities," DeFiPP Working Papers 2202, University of Namur, Development Finance and Public Policies.
    8. Ma, Guangrong & Qi, Qingyuan & Liu, Mengxin, 2023. "A lack of nostalgia: Hometown favoritism and allocation of intergovernmental transfer in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    9. Fernando Antonio Ignacio González & Lara Sofía Cantero & Pablo Ariel Szyszko, 2023. "Inequality and economic activity under regional favoritism: evidence from Argentina," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 43(2), pages 343-361, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christian Bommer & Axel Dreher & Marcello Perez-Alvarez, 2018. "Regional and Ethnic Favoritism in the Allocation of Humanitarian Aid," CESifo Working Paper Series 7038, CESifo.
    2. Dreher, Axel & Fuchs, Andreas & Hodler, Roland & Parks, Bradley C. & Raschky, Paul A. & Tierney, Michael J., 2019. "African leaders and the geography of China's foreign assistance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 44-71.
    3. Fuchs, Andreas & Dreher, Axel & Hodler, Roland & Parks, Bradley C. & Raschky, Paul, 2015. "Aid on Demand: African Leaders and the Geography of China s Foreign Assistance," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112838, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Dreher, Axel & Lang, Valentin & Reinsberg, Bernhard, 2024. "Aid effectiveness and donor motives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    5. Stephan Schneider & Sven Kunze, 2021. "Disastrous Discretion: Ambiguous Decision Situations Foster Political Favoritism," KOF Working papers 21-491, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    6. Maria Perrotta Berlin & Raj M. Desai & Anders Olofsgård, 2023. "Trading favors? UN Security Council membership and subnational favoritism in aid recipients," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 237-258, April.
    7. Asmus, Gerda & Eichenauer, Vera & Fuchs, Andreas & Parks, Bradley, 2021. "Does India use development finance to compete with China? A subnational analysis," Kiel Working Papers 2189, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    8. Dreher, Axel & Fuchs, Andreas & Hodler, Roland & Parks, Bradley C. & Raschky, Paul A. & Tierney, Michael J., 2021. "Is Favoritism a Threat to Chinese Aid Effectiveness? A Subnational Analysis of Chinese Development Projects," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    9. Andreas Fuchs & Hannes Öhler, 2021. "Does private aid follow the flag? An empirical analysis of humanitarian assistance," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 671-705, March.
    10. Anaxagorou, Christiana & Efthyvoulou, Georgios & Sarantides, Vassilis, 2020. "Electoral motives and the subnational allocation of foreign aid in sub-Saharan Africa," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    11. Eichenauer, Vera Z. & Fuchs, Andreas & Kunze, Sven & Strobl, Eric, 2020. "Distortions in aid allocation of United Nations flash appeals: Evidence from the 2015 Nepal earthquake," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    12. Gonschorek, Gerrit J., 2021. "Subnational favoritism in development grant allocations: Empirical evidence from decentralized Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    13. Guglielmo Barone & Guido de Blasio & Elena Gentili, 2020. "Politically connected cities: Italy 1951-1991," Working Papers wp1158, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    14. Ma, Guangrong & Qi, Qingyuan & Liu, Mengxin, 2023. "A lack of nostalgia: Hometown favoritism and allocation of intergovernmental transfer in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    15. Zareh Asatryan & Annika Havlik, 2020. "The political economy of multilateral lending to European regions," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 707-740, July.
    16. Fuchs, Andreas & Klann, Nils-Hendrik, 2013. "Emergency Aid 2.0," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79898, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Tien Manh Vu & Hiroyuki Yamada, 2021. "Firms and regional favouritism," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 29(4), pages 711-734, October.
    18. Mogge, Lukas & McDonald, Morag & Knoth, Christian & Teickner, Henning & Purevtseren, Myagmartseren & Pebesma, Edzer & Kraehnert, Kati, 2023. "Allocation of humanitarian aid after a weather disaster," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 166(C).
    19. Ehizuelen Michael Mitchell Omoruyi, 2016. "The Dragon's Goodwill: Examining China's External Finance and African Leaders' Preferentialism," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 1-30, October.
    20. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2021. "Appointed public officials and local favoritism: Evidence from the German states," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Humanitarian aid; Natural disasters; Regional favoritism; Birth regions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H84 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Disaster Aid

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:208:y:2022:i:c:s0047272722000068. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.