IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The West's aid dilemma and the Chinese solution?


  • Xiaobing Wang
  • Adam Ozanne


Abstract There are currently two contrasting approaches towards aid policy in Africa: that followed by the West is well known for its conditionality, selectivity and focus on direct financial support, while the approach adopted by China eschews conditionality and concentrates on infrastructure building. The Chinese approach has been criticised for its failure to create direct employment and because, it is argued, its unconditionality hampers good governance in Africa. However, this paper argues that the West faces a dilemma, in that governance and its improvements are endogenous to the economic development of a country. Making aid conditional upon governance therefore unduly penalises countries at the bottom. The Chinese approach, in contrast, avoids this dilemma by directly targeting constraints to development; it may therefore be more effective in generating long-run growth, which may in turn foster good governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaobing Wang & Adam Ozanne, 2012. "The West's aid dilemma and the Chinese solution?," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 17712, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:17712

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xiaobo Zhang & Shenggen Fan, 2004. "How Productive Is Infrastructure? A New Approach and Evidence from Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 492-501.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    3. World Bank, 2000. "Can Africa Claim the 21st Century?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 22962.
    4. repec:mes:challe:v:33:y:1990:i:4:p:57-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Zhang, Xiaobo & Fan, Shenggen & Zhang, Linxiu & Huang, Jikun, 2004. "Local governance and public goods provision in rural China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2857-2871, December.
    6. Kaplinsky, Raphael & Morris, Mike, 2008. "Do the Asian Drivers Undermine Export-oriented Industrialization in SSA," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 254-273, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:17712. 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: (Rowena Harding). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.