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The Return to Foreign Aid

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  • Carl-Johan Dalgaard
  • Henrik Hansen

Abstract

We estimate the average rate of return on investments financed by aid and by domestic resource mobilisation, using aggregate data. Both returns are expected to vary across countries and time. Consequently we develop a correlated random coefficients model to estimate the average returns. Across different estimators and two different data sources for GDP and investment our findings are remarkably robust; the average gross return on ‘aid investments’ is about 20 per cent. This is in accord with micro estimates of the economic rate of return on aid projects and with aggregate estimates of the rate of return on public capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen, 2017. "The Return to Foreign Aid," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(7), pages 998-1018, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:53:y:2017:i:7:p:998-1018
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2017.1303674
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tarp, Finn, 2006. "Aid and Development," MPRA Paper 13171, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Erickson, Lennart, 2009. "Reasonable Expectations and the First Millennium Development Goal: How Much Can Aid Achieve?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1170-1181, July.
    3. Channing Arndt & Sam Jones & Finn Tarp, 2011. "Aid Effectiveness: Opening the Black Box," WIDER Working Paper Series 044, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Berg, Andrew & Portillo, Rafael & Zanna, Luis-Felipe, 2015. "Policy Responses to Aid Surges in Countries with Limited International Capital Mobility: The Role of the Exchange Rate Regime," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 116-129.
    5. Andrew Berg & Edward F Buffie & Catherine A Pattillo & Rafael A Portillo & Andrea F Presbitero & Luis-Felipe Zanna, 2015. "Some Misconceptions about Public Investment Efficiency and Growth," IMF Working Papers 15/272, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Edward F Buffie & Michele Andreolli & Bin Grace Li & Luis-Felipe Zanna, 2016. "Macroeconomic Dimensions of Public-Private Partnerships," IMF Working Papers 16/78, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Araujo, Juliana D. & Li, Bin Grace & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos & Zanna, Luis-Felipe, 2016. "Current account norms in natural resource rich and capital scarce economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 144-156.
    8. Salifou Issoufou & Edward F Buffie & Mouhamadou Bamba Diop & Kalidou Thiaw, 2014. "Efficient Energy Investment and Fiscal Adjustment in Senegal," IMF Working Papers 14/44, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Giovanni Melina & Yi Xiong, 2013. "Natural Gas, Public Investment and Debt Sustainability in Mozambique," IMF Working Papers 13/261, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Agenor, P.-R., 1997. "Capital-Market Imperfections and the Macroeconomic Dynamics of Small Indebted Economies," Princeton Studies in International Economics 82, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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