IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData

  • Tierney, Michael J.
  • Nielson, Daniel L.
  • Hawkins, Darren G.
  • Roberts, J. Timmons
  • Findley, Michael G.
  • Powers, Ryan M.
  • Parks, Bradley
  • Wilson, Sven E.
  • Hicks, Robert L.

In this introductory essay to the special issue, we introduce a new dataset of foreign assistance, AidData, that covers more bilateral and multilateral donors and more types of aid than existing datasets while also improving project-level information about the purposes and activities funded by aid. We utilize that data to provide a brief overview of important trends in foreign aid. Contributors to this special issue draw on AidData as well as other sources to analyze aid transparency, “new” donors (not previously described or analyzed), aid allocation, and aid effectiveness. Our recurring theme in this introductory essay is that AidData and these initial academic projects refine rather than revolutionize our understanding of aid. The database has added significant numbers of new projects, dollar amounts, donors, and details about those projects, though there is much more yet to add. We worry that aid debates have been driven by too little information, and that many claims are based on limited or very poor evidence. Rectifying these problems will not be instantaneous: refining knowledge takes a lot of time and hard work. The common feature of the papers in this special issue is their careful attention to nuance and detail. In spite of what some recent authors have claimed, aid is neither a simple solution nor a sufficient cause of most problems in developing countries; its motivations, distribution, and effects are complex, and shifting. Capturing this complexity requires detailed data, careful thought, and sophisticated methods that allow scholars to make conditional causal and descriptive inferences.

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: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X1100204X
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 World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1891-1906

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:11:p:1891-1906
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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. James Vreeland, 2011. "Foreign aid and global governance: Buying Bretton Woods – the Swiss-bloc case," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 369-391, September.
  2. Hicks, Robert L. & Parks, Bradley C. & Roberts, J. Timmons & Tierney, Michael J., 2008. "Greening Aid?: Understanding the Environmental Impact of Development Assistance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199213948, March.
  3. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 1999. "Aid Effectiveness Disputed," MPRA Paper 62290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler, 2009. "Aid Allocation through Various Official and Private Channels: Need, Merit and Self-Interest as Motives of German Donors," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 16, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  5. Michael Clemens & Todd Moss, 2005. "Ghost of 0.7%: Origins and Relevance of the International Aid Target," Development and Comp Systems 0509006, EconWPA.
  6. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Foreign aid and rent-seeking," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 437-461, August.
  7. Knack, Stephen, 2009. "Sovereign rents and quality of tax policy and administration," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-371, September.
  8. Jenkins, Glenn P, 1997. "Project Analysis and the World Bank," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 38-42, May.
  9. Minoiu, Camelia & Reddy, Sanjay G., 2010. "Development aid and economic growth: A positive long-run relation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 27-39, February.
  10. Koch, Dirk-Jan & Dreher, Axel & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiele, Rainer, 2009. "Keeping a Low Profile: What Determines the Allocation of Aid by Non-Governmental Organizations?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 902-918, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Isham, Jonathan & Kaufmann, Daniel & Pritchett, Lant H, 1997. "Civil Liberties, Democracy, and the Performance of Government Projects," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 219-42, May.
  13. Ouattara, Bazoumana & Amegashie, J. Atsu & Strobl, Eric, 2009. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 24, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  14. Isham, Jonathan & Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Does Participation Improve Performance? Establishing Causality with Subjective Data," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 175-200, May.
  15. Kilby, Christopher, 2000. "Supervision and performance: the case of World Bank projects," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 233-259, June.
  16. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  17. Doucouliagos , H. & Paldam, M., 2007. "The aid effectiveness literature: The sad results of 40 years of research," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0773, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  18. Tony Addison & George Mavrotas & Mark McGillivray, 2005. "Development assistance and development finance: evidence and global policy agendas," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 819-836.
  19. Kenny, Charles, 2006. "What is effective aid? How would donors allocate It?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4005, The World Bank.
  20. Kosack, Stephen, 2003. "Effective Aid: How Democracy Allows Development Aid to Improve the Quality of Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-22, January.
  21. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
  22. Collier, Paul, 2006. "Is Aid Oil? An Analysis Of Whether Africa Can Absorb More Aid," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1482-1497, September.
  23. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
  24. Todd Moss & Gunilla Pettersson & Nicolas van de Walle, 2006. "An Aid-Institutions Paradox? A Review Essay on Aid Dependency and State Building in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 74, Center for Global Development.
  25. Dreher, Axel & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiele, Rainer, 2008. "Does Aid for Education Educate Children? Evidence from Panel Data," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 28827, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  26. Dollar, David & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Scholarly Articles 4553020, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  27. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2001. "On the Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-13, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Sep 2003.
  28. Collier, Paul, 2008. "The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195374636, March.
  29. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  30. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Development aid and international politics: Does membership on the UN Security Council influence World Bank decisions?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-18, January.
  31. Brautigam, Deborah A & Knack, Stephen, 2004. "Foreign Aid, Institutions, and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 255-85, January.
  32. David Roodman, 2007. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-Country Empirics," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 255-277, May.
  33. Michael Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting Chickens When They Hatch: The Short-term Effect of Aid on Growth," Working Papers 44, Center for Global Development.
  34. Edwards, Michael & Hulme, David, 1996. "Too close for comfort? the impact of official aid on nongovernmental organizations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 961-973, June.
  35. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Simeon Djankov & José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "The curse of aid," Economics Working Papers 870, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  37. Eric Werker & Faisal Z. Ahmed, 2008. "What Do Nongovernmental Organizations Do?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 73-92, Spring.
  38. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," NBER Working Papers 11513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. J. Svensson, 1999. "Aid, Growth and Democracy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 275-297, November.
  40. Wane, Waly, 2004. "The quality of foreign aid : country selectivity or donors incentives?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3325, The World Bank.
  41. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2006. "The Increasing Selectivity of Foreign Aid, 1984-2003," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2034-2046, December.
  42. Nielson, Daniel L. & Tierney, Michael J., 2005. "Theory, Data, and Hypothesis Testing: World Bank Environmental Reform Redux," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(03), pages 785-800, July.
  43. Nielson, Daniel L. & Tierney, Michael J., 2003. "Delegation to International Organizations: Agency Theory and World Bank Environmental Reform," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(02), pages 241-276, March.
  44. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  45. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  46. Gauri, Varun & Galef, Julia, 2005. "NGOs in Bangladesh: Activities, resources, and governance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2045-2065, December.
  47. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  48. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn & Basu, Swati, 1998. "Does Economic Analysis Improve the Quality of Foreign Assistance?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 385-418, September.
  49. François Bourguignon & Mark Sundberg, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness – Opening the Black Box," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 316-321, May.
  50. Kilby, Christopher, 2009. "The political economy of conditionality: An empirical analysis of World Bank loan disbursements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 51-61, May.
  51. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2005. "Sowing and reaping: institutional quality and project outcomes in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3524, The World Bank.
  52. 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.
  53. Steve Radelet, 2006. "A Primer on Foreign Aid," Working Papers 92, Center for Global Development.
  54. Mona Lyne & Daniel Nielson & Michael Tierney, 2009. "Controlling coalitions: Social lending at the multilateral development banks," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 407-433, December.
  55. 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.
  56. 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 515-37, April.
  57. Howard White & Simon Feeny, 2003. "An Examination Of The Long-Run Trends And Recent Developments In Foreign Aid," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 113-135, June.
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:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:11:p:1891-1906. 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.