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Aid allocation, poverty reduction and the Assessing Aid report

  • Robert Lensink
  • Howard White

Assessing Aid argues that aid should be reallocated in favour of poor countries with good policies. This argument is based on a model in which poverty depends on growth, and growth on aid, the impact of aid being higher in countries with good policies. So‐called ‘poverty‐efficient’ aid allocations are thus calculated, which are shown to be at odds with those of bilateral donors. There are a number of theoretical and empirical shortcomings in this work. First, aid can affect poverty through channels other than growth. Second, what constitutes ‘good policies’ is debatable. Third, the empirical estimates are very sensitive to changes in model specification and sample. This paper critically reviews these three issues and finds the poverty‐oriented aid reallocations implied in Assessing Aid to be an unreliable guide to policy. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 12 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (04)
Pages: 399-412

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:3:p:399-412
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Aid effectiveness disputed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 375-398.
  2. Alejandro Ramirez & Gustav Ranis, 1997. "Economic Growth and Human Development," Working Papers 787, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  3. Howard White, 1999. "Global poverty reduction: are we heading in the right direction?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 503-519.
  4. Ranis, G. & Ramirez, A. & Stewart, F., 1997. "Economic Growth and Human Development," Papers 787, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  5. Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2000. "Assessing Aid: A Manifesto for Aid in the 21st Century?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1), pages 5-18.
  6. Cline, William R. & Sargen, Nicholas P., 1975. "Performance criteria and multilateral aid allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 383-391, June.
  7. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1997. "Child mortality and public spending on health : how much does money matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1864, The World Bank.
  8. Lucia Hanmer & Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2003. "Infant and child mortality in developing countries: Analysing the data for Robust determinants," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 101-118.
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