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Aid allocation to fragile states: Absorptive capacity constraints

  • Simon Feeny

    (School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

  • Mark McGillivray

    (World Institute for Development Economics Research, United Nations University, Helsinki, Finland)

The international donor community has grave concerns about the effectiveness of aid to countries it classifies as 'fragile states'. The impact of aid on growth and poverty reduction and the ability to efficiently absorb additional inflows is thought to be significantly lower in these countries compared to other recipients. This paper examines this issue and suggests that a while a number of fragile states can efficiently absorb more aid than they have received, a number receive far more aid than they can efficiently absorb from a perspective based purely on per capita income growth. Policy recommendations are provided. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

Volume (Year): 21 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 618-632

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:21:y:2009:i:5:p:618-632
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  1. Branchflower, Andrew & Hennell, Sarah & Pongracz, Sophie & Smart, Malcolm, 2004. "How Important Are Difficult Environments To Achieving The Mdgs?," PRDE Working Papers 12821, Department for International Development (DFID) (UK).
  2. Tony Addison & George Mavrotas & Mark McGillivray, 2005. "Development assistance and development finance: evidence and global policy agendas," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 819-836.
  3. R. Lensink & H. White, 2001. "Are There Negative Returns to Aid?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 42-65.
  4. 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.
  5. Michael Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting Chickens When They Hatch: The Short-term Effect of Aid on Growth," Working Papers 44, Center for Global Development.
  6. Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Aid effectiveness disputed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 375-398.
  7. 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.
  8. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2000. "Can the world cut poverty in half ? how policy reform and effective aid can meet international development goals," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2403, The World Bank.
  9. McGillivray, Mark & Feeny, Simon, 2008. "Aid and Growth in Fragile States," Working Paper Series RP2008/03, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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