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Seeds of hope: Assessing the effect of development aid on the reduction of child mortality


  • Roberto Burguet


  • Marcelo Soto



The Millennium Declaration (2000) set as one of its targets a substantial reduction in child mortality. This paper studies whether the massive increase in development aid can account for part of the reduction in child mortality observed in developing countries since the year 2000. To do so, we analyze a panel of more than 130 developing countries over the 2000-2008 period. We use the time trend evolution of aid to identify an exogenous source of variation. Total aid has had no statistically significant effect on child mortality. However, a disaggregate analysis identifies certain sectors of aid that have had a significant impact. The effects have been larger in high mortality countries, including Sub-Saharan Africa. Projections based on our estimates strongly support the concern that most countries in that region will miss the Millennium Goals target on child mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Burguet & Marcelo Soto, 2011. "Seeds of hope: Assessing the effect of development aid on the reduction of child mortality," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 890.11, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:890.11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Markus Brückner, 2013. "On the simultaneity problem in the aid and growth debate," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 126-150, January.
    2. Karuna Gomanee & Sourafel Girma & Oliver Morrissey, 2005. "Aid, public spending and human welfare: evidence from quantile regressions," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 299-309.
    3. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    4. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
    5. Clemens, Michael A. & Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 2007. "The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 735-751, May.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10707 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Mishra, Prachi & Newhouse, David, 2009. "Does health aid matter?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 855-872, July.
    8. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, EconWPA.
    9. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2014. "The Determinants of Food-Aid Provisions to Africa and the Developing World," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth, pages 161-178 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lisa Chauvet & Flore Gubert & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2009. "Are Remittances More Effective Than Aid To Reduce Child Mortality? An Empirical Assessment using Inter and Intra-Country Data," Working Papers DT/2009/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    11. Ann L. Owen & Stephen Wu, 2007. "Is Trade Good for Your Health?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 660-682, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pérez-Moreno, Salvador & Blanco-Arana, María C. & Bárcena-Martín, Elena, 2016. "Economic cycles and child mortality: A cross-national study of the least developed countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 14-23.
    2. Roberto Burguet & Marcelo Soto, 2012. "Measuring the child mortality impact of official aid for fighting infectious diseases, 2000-2010," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 897.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).

    More about this item


    ODA; child mortality; aid effectiveness.;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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