IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Controversies over the impact of development aid: it works; it doesn't; it can, but that depends …

  • Mark McGillivray

    (World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Simon Feeny

    (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)

  • Niels Hermes

    (University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)

  • Robert Lensink

    (University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)

This paper surveys five decades of empirical research on the macroeconomic impact of aid, looking mainly at studies examining the link between aid and growth. It argues that studies dating until the late 1990s produced either contradictory or inconclusive results. Aid either worked, or it didn't, according to this research. The paper then highlights a major shift in the literature that coincided with the release of the World Bank's Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn't and Why. Practically, all research published since that report agrees with its general finding that aid works to the extent that in its absence, growth would be lower. One controversy may therefore have been settled. Yet, as shown in this paper, the report has set-off an intense debate over the context in which aid works. That debate centres on whether the effectiveness of these inflows depends on the policy regime of recipient countries. Some possible avenues through which the heat might be taken out of this debate are considered. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.1335
File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
Download Restriction: no

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

Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 1031-1050

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:18:y:2006:i:7:p:1031-1050
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
  2. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  3. Levy, Victor, 1988. "Aid and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The recent experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1777-1795, November.
  4. Lisa CHAUVET & Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2003. "Aid and Growth Revisited: Policy, Economic Vulnerability and Political Instability," Working Papers 200327, CERDI.
  5. Tarp, Finn, 2006. "Aid and Development," MPRA Paper 13171, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Newlyn, Walter T, 1973. "The Effect of Aid and Other Resource Transfers on Savings and Growth in Less-Developed Countries: A Comment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 83(331), pages 867-69, September.
  7. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2002. "On the Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," MPRA Paper 63696, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Cook, Paul & Uchida, Yuichiro, 2001. "Privatisation and Economic Growth in Developing Countries," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30634, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
  9. Gomanee, Karuna & Girma, Sourafel & Morrissey, Oliver, 2005. "Aid and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Accounting for Transmission Mechanisms," Working Paper Series RP2005/60, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. 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.
  11. de Haan, Jakob & Siermann, Clemens L J, 1996. " New Evidence on the Relationship between Democracy and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 86(1-2), pages 175-98, January.
  12. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 1999. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2041, The World Bank.
  13. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-83, May.
  14. R. Lensink & H. White, 2001. "Are There Negative Returns to Aid?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 42-65.
  15. Bacha, Edmar L., 1990. "A three-gap model of foreign transfers and the GDP growth rate in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 279-296, April.
  16. John Hudson & Paul Mosley, 2001. "Aid policies and growth: in search of the holy grail," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 1023-1038.
  17. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  18. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. N. Hermes & R. Lensink, 2001. "Changing the Conditions for Development Aid: A New Paradigm?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 1-16.
  20. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  21. Papanek, Gustav F, 1972. "The Effect of Aid and other Resource Transfers on Savings and Growth in Less Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 934-50, September.
  22. Rati Ram, 2004. "Recipient country's 'policies' and the effect of foreign aid on economic growth in developing countries: additional evidence," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 201-211.
  23. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Mosley, Paul & Hudson, John & Horrell, Sara, 1987. "Aid, the Public Sector and the Market in Less Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 616-41, September.
  25. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Lisa CHAUVET, 1999. "Aid and Performance: A Reassessment," Working Papers 199910, CERDI.
  26. C-J. Dalgaard & H. Hansen, 2001. "On Aid, Growth and Good Policies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 17-41.
  27. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 1999. "Aid Effectiveness Disputed," MPRA Paper 62290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Griffin, Keith, 1973. "The Effect of Aid and Other Resource Transfers on Savings and Growth in Less-Developed Countries: A Comment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 83(331), pages 863-66, September.
  29. Griffin, Keith B & Enos, J L, 1970. "Foreign Assistance: Objectives and Consequences," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 313-27, April.
  30. Ale Bulir & A. Javier Hamann, 2003. "Aid Volatility: An Empirical Assessment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 4.
  31. Hermes, Niels & Lensink, Robert, 2001. "Fiscal Policy and Private Investment in Less Developed Countries," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  32. Robert Lensink & Oliver Morrissey, 2000. "Aid instability as a measure of uncertainty and the positive impact of aid on growth," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 31-49.
  33. Mosley, Paul, 1980. "Aid, Savings and Growth Revisited," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 42(2), pages 79-95, May.
  34. Levy, Victor, 1987. "Does Concessionary Aid Lead to Higher Investment Rates in Low-Income Countries?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 152-56, February.
  35. McGillivray, Mark, 2003. "Aid Effectiveness and Selectivity: Integrating Multiple Objectives into Aid Allocations," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  36. Jensen, Peter Sandholt & Paldam, Martin, . "Can the new aid-growth models be replicated," Economics Working Papers 2003-17, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  37. Kosack, Stephen, 2003. "Effective Aid: How Democracy Allows Development Aid to Improve the Quality of Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-22, January.
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:wly:jintdv:v:18:y:2006:i:7:p:1031-1050. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.