IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eme/jepppp/jepp-03-2017-0007.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Can foreign aid motivate institutional reform? An evaluation of the HIPC Initiative

Author

Listed:
  • Minh Tam Schlosky
  • Andrew Young

Abstract

Purpose - A number of political economy concerns are associated with the provision of foreign aid to developing economies. These concerns suggest that foreign aid is likely to have harmful effects on a recipient’s institutional quality, and that attempts to give aid conditional on policy and institutional reforms are unlikely to succeed. Established in 1996, the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative is a comprehensive, structured attempt to provide multilateral foreign aid conditional on reforms in recipient countries. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate its effectiveness at affecting institutional reform in participating countries. Design/methodology/approach - The authors document how participating countries fared in terms of the quality of their policies and institutions. The authors employ the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index as a measure of economic institutions, and the Freedom House political rights (PR) and civil liberties indices as measures of PR and protections. Based on these measures, the authors report unconditional statistics (e.g. average changes) and also regressions of changes in the measures on HIPC Initiative aid allocations and other controls. Findings - The authors find that most participating countries experienced either meager increases or outright decreases in institutional quality. The regression results provide no evidence that the Initiative affects meaningful reforms. Originality/value - The potential for foreign aid to have deleterious effects on the institutional quality of recipient countries has been of increasing concern to students of economic development. Such effects can have important implications for entrepreneurial activity in these countries. The HIPC Initiative is specifically designed to acknowledge and, indeed, overcome these concerns, leading to actual increases in institutional quality of recipient countries. To the authors’ knowledge, this work is the first to assess whether the promise of the HIPC Initiative is being fulfilled.

Suggested Citation

  • Minh Tam Schlosky & Andrew Young, 2017. "Can foreign aid motivate institutional reform? An evaluation of the HIPC Initiative," Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(2), pages 242-258, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jepppp:jepp-03-2017-0007
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/JEPP-03-2017-0007?utm_campaign=RePEc&WT.mc_id=RePEc
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:eme:jepppp:jepp-04-2016-0015 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
    3. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    4. Harold J. Brumm, 2003. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Bauer Was Right," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 23(2), pages 167-174, Fall.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    6. Lawson, Robert A. & Clark, J.R., 2010. "Examining the Hayek-Friedman hypothesis on economic and political freedom," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 230-239, June.
    7. Joshua C. Hall & Russell S. Sobel & George R. Crowley, 2010. "Institutions, Capital, and Growth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 385-405, October.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    9. Young, Andrew T. & Sheehan, Kathleen M., 2014. "Foreign aid, institutional quality, and growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 195-208.
    10. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Foreign aid and rent-seeking," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 437-461, August.
    11. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross‐Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    12. Cassimon, Danny & van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness, Debt Relief and Public Finance Response: Evidence from a Panel of HIPCs," WIDER Working Paper Series 059, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    14. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    15. Claudia Williamson, 2010. "Exploring the failure of foreign aid: The role of incentives and information," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 17-33, March.
    16. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.
    17. Alexandre Padilla & Nicolás Cachanosky, 2016. "Indirectly productive entrepreneurship," Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 161-175, August.
    18. Easterly, William, 2002. "How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1677-1696, October.
    19. Kalyvitis, Sarantis & Vlachaki, Irene, 2012. "When does more aid imply less democracy? An empirical examination," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 132-146.
    20. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1999. "The big push, natural resource booms and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 43-76, June.
    21. Joshua C. Hall & Robert A. Lawson, 2014. "Economic Freedom Of The World: An Accounting Of The Literature," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, January.
    22. James D. Gwartney & Robert A. Lawson & Randall G. Holcombe, 1999. "Economic Freedom and the Environment for Economic Growth," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 643-643, December.
    23. repec:jed:journl:v:43:y:2018:i:3:p:1-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    25. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    26. Jacinta Nwachukwu, 2008. "The Prospects for Foreign Debt Sustainability in Post-Completion-Point Countries: Implications of the HIPC-MDRI Framework," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 26(2), pages 171-188, March.
    27. Ovaska, Tomi & Takashima, Ryo, 2006. "Economic policy and the level of self-perceived well-being: An international comparison," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 308-325, April.
    28. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
    29. Danny Cassimon & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness, Debt Relief and Public Finance Response: Evidence from a Panel of HIPC Countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 143(4), pages 742-763, December.
    30. Sobel, Russell S., 2008. "Testing Baumol: Institutional quality and the productivity of entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 641-655, November.
    31. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    32. Wiseman, Travis & Young, Andrew, 2014. "Religion: productive or unproductive?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 21-45, March.
    33. Joshua C. Hall, Serkan Karadas and Minh Tam T. Schlosky, 2018. "Is There Moral Hazard in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Debt Relief Process?," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 1-24, September.
    34. Raghuram Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2007. "Does Aid Affect Governance?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 322-327, May.
    35. Bauer, Peter T, 1969. "Dissent on Development," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 16(1), pages 75-94, February.
    36. Benjamin Powell & Matt E. Ryan, 2006. "Does Development Aid Lead to Economic Freedom?," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 22(Fall 2006), pages 1-21.
    37. Peter T. Leeson, 2008. "Escaping Poverty: Foreign Aid, Private Property, and Economic Development," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 23(Spring 20), pages 39-64.
    38. Jac C. Heckelman & Stephen Knack, 2008. "Foreign Aid and Market‐Liberalizing Reform," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 524-548, August.
    39. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
    40. Heckelman, Jac C & Stroup, Michael D, 2000. "Which Economic Freedoms Contribute to Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 527-544.
    41. Stroup, Michael D., 2007. "Economic Freedom, Democracy, and the Quality of Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 52-66, January.
    42. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
    43. Jason Sorens, 2009. "Development and the Political Economy of Foreign Aid," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 24(Spring 20), pages 87-100.
    44. Young, Andrew T. & Lawson, Robert A., 2014. "Capitalism and labor shares: A cross-country panel study," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 20-36.
    45. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
    46. repec:eme:jepppp:jepp-06-2016-0023 is not listed on IDEAS
    47. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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:eme:jepppp:jepp-03-2017-0007. 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: (Heather Goss). General contact details of provider: http://www.emeraldinsight.com .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.