Coding Error or Statistical Embellishment? The Political Economy of Reporting Climate Aid
To benefit from a wide-spread public support for climate policy, aid agencies strive to show the climate relevance of their development activities. Using project-level aid data and country-level political data for 21 DAC donors from 1995 to 2007, we test whether this may lead to politically motivated misreporting. Through keyword search in individual project descriptions and complementary hand-coding we assess all aid activities for their actual climate change-related content, and thereby construct our most relevant control variables. Econometric results reveal that indeed, project coding is influenced systematically by the donor governments’ ideological orientation as well as by national voters’ environmental preferences.
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