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The aid effectiveness literature: The sad results of 40 years of research

  • Doucouliagos , H.
  • Paldam, M.

The aid effectiveness literature (AEL) consists of empirical macro studies of the effects of development aid. By the end of 2004, it had reached 97 econometric studies of three families, which have been analyzed in one study for each family using meta-analysis. The AEL is an ideal subject for meta-analysis as it uses only a few formally similar models which try to catch precisely the same effects. Also, it is an area with strong beliefs – often generated by altruism – and interests. In this survey of the AEL, we shows that when the whole of the literature is examined, a clear pattern emerges in the results: after 40 years of development aid, the evidence indicates that aid has not been effective. We show that the distribution of results is significantly asymmetrical in a way that reflects the reluctance of the research community to publish negative results. The Dutch Disease effect of aid has been ignored but is a plausible explanation for aid ineffectiveness.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0773.pdf
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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0773.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0773
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  1. Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini & Enrico Marchetti, 2005. "Fiscal Policy under Indeterminacy and Tax Evasion," Economics Working Papers 2005-09, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. Haldrup, Niels & Hylleberg, Svend & Pons, Gabriel & Sanso, Andreu, 2007. "Common Periodic Correlation Features and the Interaction of Stocks and Flows in Daily Airport Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 21-32, January.
  3. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2005. "Aid Effectiveness on Growth. A Meta Study," Economics Working Papers 2005-13, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  4. Weisskopf, Thomas E, 1972. "An Econometric Test of Alternative Constraints on the Growth of Underdeveloped Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(1), pages 67-78, February.
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  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

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