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The Localized Geography of Foreign Aid: A New Dataset and Application to Violent Armed Conflict

  • Findley, Michael G.
  • Powell, Josh
  • Strandow, Daniel
  • Tanner, Jeff
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    Existing foreign aid databases – the OECD’s CRS data and now AidData – are project-based. And yet nearly all empirical analyses using these data aggregate to the country-year level, thereby losing project-specific information. In this paper, we introduce new data on the geographic location of aid projects that have been committed to many African countries between 1989 and 2008. The data enable an examination of project-level information in a wider variety of systematic research contexts. To demonstrate the utility of the new data, we discuss how geographically disaggregated foreign aid and armed conflict data are needed to capture the theoretical mechanisms in the aid-conflict literature. We then map the disaggregated aid and conflict data in Sierra Leone, Angola, and Mozambique as specific examples of how these data could help disentangle competing causal mechanisms linking aid to conflict onset and dynamics. The research provides an important new perspective on the connections between aid and conflict. More generally, it is a crucial first step in geo-referencing and comparing foreign aid projects to various localized development outcomes.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X11001975
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 1995-2009

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:11:p:1995-2009
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    1. Claudia R. Williamson, 2008. "Foreign Aid and Human Development: The Impact of Foreign Aid to the Health Sector," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 188-207, July.
    2. Max Blouin & Stéphane Pallage, 2008. "Humanitarian Relief and Civil Conflict," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 52(4), pages 548-565, August.
    3. Axel Dreher & Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2006. "Does Aid for Education Educate Children? Evidence from Panel Data," KOF Working papers 06-146, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    4. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    5. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2007. "Unintended Consequences: Does Aid Promote Arms Races?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(1), pages 1-27, 02.
    7. Feyzioglu, Tarhan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Zhu, Min, 1998. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Fungibility of Foreign Aid," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 29-58, January.
    8. Addison, Tony & Murshed, S. Mansoob, 2001. "The Fiscal Dimensions of Conflict and Reconstruction," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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