IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Costs of Favoritism: Is Politically Driven Aid Less Effective?

Listed author(s):
  • Axel Dreher
  • Stephan Klasen
  • James Raymond Vreeland
  • Eric Werker

Governments provide foreign aid for both political and economic reasons, as is now well documented. Conventional wisdom holds that political motivations lower the effectiveness of aid in promoting developmental objectives. We test this claim by focusing on a setting in which we observe "effectiveness" with some precision, using the ex post performance ratings of World Bank projects. Our measures of "political importance" are plausibly exogenous: temporary membership on the UN Security Council or the World Bank Executive Board. We find that political motivations have a detrimental effect for Security Council members only when the country already faces excessive short-term debt or debt service. This finding suggests that political influence in aid allocation may impair aid's effectiveness only when the recipient country faces a weak macroeconomic position.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/671711
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/671711
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 62 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 157-191

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/671711
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window

  1. Lodewijk Smets & Stephen Knack & Nadia Molenaers, 2013. "Political ideology, quality at entry and the success of economic reform programs," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 447-476, December.
  2. Christopher Kilby & Axel Dreher, 2009. "The Impact of Aid on Growth Revisited: Do Donor Motives Matter?," KOF Working papers 09-225, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sanjay Reddy & Camelia Minoiu, 2009. "Development Aid and Economic Growth; A Positive Long-Run Relation," IMF Working Papers 09/118, .
  5. Dollar, David & Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "What explains the success or failure of structural adjustment programs?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1938, The World Bank.
  6. Derek Headey, 2008. "Geopolitics and the effect of foreign aid on economic growth: 1970-2001," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 161-180.
  7. Joseph E. Stiglitz & Shahid Yusuf, 2001. "Rethinking the East Asian Miracle," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13969.
  8. Kilby, Christopher, 2009. "The political economy of conditionality: An empirical analysis of World Bank loan disbursements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 51-61, May.
  9. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Tichit, Ariane, 2002. "Bilateral Donors' Aid Allocation Decisions: A Three-dimensional Panel Analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 123, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," NBER Working Papers 11513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Axel Dreher & Matthew Gould & Matthew Rablen & James Vreeland, 2014. "The determinants of election to the United Nations Security Council," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 51-83, January.
  12. Terrence L. Chapman, 2007. "International Security Institutions, Domestic Politics, and Institutional Legitimacy," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 51(1), pages 134-166, February.
  13. Robert K. Fleck & Christopher Kilby, 2006. "World Bank Independence: A Model and Statistical Analysis of US Influence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 224-240, 05.
  14. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  15. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  16. Kilby, C., 1995. "Supervision and Performance : The Case of World Bank Projects," Discussion Paper 1995-45, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  17. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  18. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2005. "The Aid Effectiveness Literature. The Sad Result of 40 Years of Research," Economics Working Papers 2005-15, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  19. Kaufmann, Daniel & Wang, Yan, 1995. "Macroeconomic policies and project performance in the social sectors: A model of human capital production and evidence from LDCs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 751-765, May.
  20. Vreeland,James Raymond, 2003. "The IMF and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521816755, December.
  21. Frey, Bruno S. & Schneider, Friedrich, 1986. "Competing models of international lending activity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 225-245, March.
  22. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm & James Raymond Vreeland, 2007. "Development Aid and International Politics: Does membership on the UN Security Council influence World Bank decisions?," KOF Working papers 07-171, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  23. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
  24. Canavire-Bacarreza, Gustavo & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiele, Rainer & Triveño, Luis, 2005. "Assessing the allocation of aid: Developmental concerns and the self-interest of donors," Kiel Working Papers 1253, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  25. World Bank, 2008. "World Development Indicators 2008," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11855.
  26. Vreeland,James Raymond, 2003. "The IMF and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016957, December.
  27. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Global horse trading: IMF loans for votes in the United Nations Security Council," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 742-757, October.
  28. Kilby, Christopher, 1995. "World Bank Borrower Relations and Project Supervision," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 32, Vassar College Department of Economics.
  29. Broz, J. Lawrence, 2002. "Political System Transparency and Monetary Commitment Regimes," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 861-887, September.
  30. Dunning, Thad, 2004. "Conditioning the Effects of Aid: Cold War Politics, Donor Credibility, and Democracy in Africa," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 409-423, April.
  31. Ashwin Kaja & Eric D. Werker, 2009. "Corporate Misgovernance at the World Bank," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-108, Harvard Business School.
  32. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Henrik Hansen & Thomas Markussen, 2004. "US Politics and World Bank IDA-Lending," Discussion Papers 05-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised May 2005.
  33. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  34. Voeten, Erik, 2005. "The Political Origins of the UN Security Council's Ability to Legitimize the Use of Force," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(03), pages 527-557, July.
  35. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  36. Jonathan Isham & Daniel Kaufmann, 1999. "The Forgotten Rationale for Policy Reform: The Productivity of Investment Projects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 149-184.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/671711. 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: (Journals Division)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.