Do Foreign Aid Transfers Distort Incentives and Hurt Growth? Theory and Evidence from 75 Aid-recipient Countries
In this paper, foreign aid transfers can distort individual incentives, and hence hurt growth, by encouraging rent-seeking as opposed to productive activities. We construct a model of a small growing open economy that distinguishes two effects from foreign transfers: (i) a direct positive effect, as higher transfers allow the financing of infrastructure; (ii) an indirect negative effect, as higher transfers induce rent-seeking competition on the part of self-interested individuals. In this framework, the growth impact of aid is examined jointly with the determination of rent-seeking behavior. We test the main predictions of the model for a cross-section of 75 aid-recipient countries between 1975 and 1995. There is evidence that aid has a direct positive effect on growth, which is however significantly mitigated by the adverse indirect effects of associated rent-seeking activities. This is especially the case in recipient countries with relatively large public sectors.
|Date of creation:||2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Does foreign aid corrupt?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 99-106, April.
- Charles C. Chang & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Luis Servén, 1998.
"Measuring Aid Flows: A New Approach,"
IDB Publications (Working Papers)
6447, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Charles C. Chang & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Luis Serven, 1998. "Measuring Aid Flows: A New Approach," Research Department Publications 4146, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Chang, Charles C. & Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & Serven, Luis, 1999. "Measuring aid flows : a new approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2050, The World Bank.
- Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
- Alberto Alesina & Beatrice Weder, 1999.
"Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?,"
NBER Working Papers
7108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:681-712 is not listed on IDEAS
- Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2000.
"Aid and Growth Regressions,"
62288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000.
"Public Spending in the 20th Century,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521664103.
- Herschel I. Grossman, 2001.
"The Creation of Effective Property Rights,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 347-352, May.
- Paolo Mauro, 2004.
"The Persistence of Corruption and Slow Economic Growth,"
IMF Staff Papers,
Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(1), pages 1.
- Paolo Mauro, 2002. "The Persistence of Corruption and Slow Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 02/213, International Monetary Fund.
- Dani Rodrik, 1998.
"Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
- Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:503-30 is not listed on IDEAS
- Svensson, Jakob, 2000.
"Foreign aid and rent-seeking,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 437-461, August.
- Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Why conditional aid does not work and what can be done about it?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 381-402, April.
- Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1996.
" Predation and Accumulation,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 333-50, September.
- Fredriksson, Per G. & Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Political instability, corruption and policy formation: the case of environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1383-1405, August.
- Park, Hyun & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2003. "On the dynamics of growth and fiscal policy with redistributive transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 515-538, March.
- Mosley, Paul & Hudson, John & Horrell, Sara, 1987. "Aid, the Public Sector and the Market in Less Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 616-41, September.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1251-88 is not listed on IDEAS
- Hyun Park & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Vangelis Vassilatos, 2003. "On the Optimal Size of Public Sector under Rent-Seeking competition from State Coffers," CESifo Working Paper Series 991, CESifo Group Munich.
- Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
- Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1156. 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: (Julio Saavedra)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.