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Does aid buy votes?


  • Paolo Pinotti

    () (Banca d'Italia)

  • Riccardo Settimo

    () (Banca d'Italia)


We use data for 143 developing countries during the period 1980-2004 to study empirically the relationship between multilateral aid (as proxied by IDA flows) and support for US foreign policy, as measured by voting alignment at the United Nations General Assembly. Our identifica�tion strategy exploits exogenous variations in international commodity prices and natural disasters to address causality from aid to voting. Our results suggest that, even though multilateral and bilateral aid flows are both associated with greater voting alignment, the causal effect of multilateral aid is not significantly different from zero. This result is robust to controlling for other determinants of voting patterns, for unobserved heterogeneity at the country level and for common time trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Pinotti & Riccardo Settimo, 2011. "Does aid buy votes?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 101, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_101_11

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Bruno Frey, 1984. "The function of governments and intergovernmental organizations in the international resource transfer — The case of the World Bank," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 120(4), pages 702-719, December.
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    More about this item


    foreign aid; UN Assembly; voting; international financial institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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