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Aid and Resource Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Role of Reverse Flows


  • John Serieux


This article seeks to ascertain the role of 'reverse flows' in explaining the observed limited impact of aid on resource mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa. It departs from the previous empirical literature on aid and resource mobilisation by abandoning the pervasive, but untenable, assumption that aid either displaces domestic saving (increases consumption) or increases investment. Some aid is, in fact, used to finance reverse flows (debt servicing, capital flight, and reserve accumulation). The evidence suggests that, for the period covering 1980 to 2006, nearly 50 per cent of aid to Sub-Saharan African countries was used to finance reverse flows.

Suggested Citation

  • John Serieux, 2011. "Aid and Resource Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Role of Reverse Flows," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(7), pages 1080-1107.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:7:p:1080-1107
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2010.509789

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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, A.M., 2017. "Dilemmas of externally financing domestic expenditures: Rethinking the political economy of aid and social protection through the monetary transformation dilemma," ISS Working Papers - General Series 629, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    2. Fischer, A.M., 2016. "Aid and the symbiosis of global redistribution and development: Comparative historical lessons from two icons of development studies," ISS Working Papers - General Series 618, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.

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