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Rogue Aid? The Determinants of China's Aid Allocation

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  • Axel Dreher
  • Andreas Fuchs

Abstract

Foreign aid from China is often characterized as ‘rogue aid’ that is not guided by recipient need but by China’s national interests alone. However, no econometric study so far confronts this claim with data. We make use of various datasets, covering the 1956-2006 period, to empirically test to which extent political and commercial interests shape China’s aid allocation decisions. We estimate the determinants of China’s allocation of project aid, food aid, medical teams and total aid money to developing countries, comparing its allocation decisions with traditional and other so-called emerging donors. We find that political considerations are an important determinant of China’s allocation of aid. However, in comparison to other donors, China does not pay substantially more attention to politics. In contrast to widespread perceptions, we find no evidence that China’s aid allocation is dominated by natural resource endowments. Moreover, China’s allocation of aid seems to be widely independent of democracy and governance in recipient countries. Overall, denominating aid from China as ‘rogue aid’ seems unjustified.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs, 2011. "Rogue Aid? The Determinants of China's Aid Allocation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3581, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3581
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    Cited by:

    1. Fuchs, Andreas & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2013. "The Needy Donor: An Empirical Analysis of India’s Aid Motives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 110-128.
    2. Austin Strange & Bradley Parks & Michael J. Tierney & Andreas Fuchs & Axel Dreher & Vijaya Ramachandran, 2013. "China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection," Working Papers 323, Center for Global Development.
    3. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:241-252 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dreher, Axel & Jensen, Nathan M., 2013. "Country or leader? Political change and UN General Assembly voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 183-196.
    5. Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs, 2011. "Does terror increase aid?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 337-363, December.
    6. Pooja Khosla, 2015. "Intra-Regional Trade In Africa And The Impact Of Chinese Intervention: A Gravity Model Approach," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(4), pages 41-66, December.
    7. Strange, Austin M. & Parks , Bradley & Tierney, Michael J. & Fuchs, Andreas & Dreher , Axel, 2014. "Tracking Under-Reported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid-Conflict Nexus Revisited," Working Papers 0553, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    8. Matthew S. Winters, 2013. "Introduction," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 386-389, July.
    9. Kersting, Erasmus & Kilby, Christopher, 2014. "Aid and democracy redux," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 125-143.
    10. Azam, Jean-Paul & Thelen, Véronique, 2014. "Did the Aid Boom Pacify Sub-Saharan Africa?: Ex-Post Evaluation Using a Near-Identification Approach," TSE Working Papers 14-544, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised May 2017.
    11. Fuchs, Andreas & Klann, Nils-Hendrik, 2013. "Emergency Aid 2.0," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79898, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Bastian Gawellek & Jingjing Lyu & Bernd Süssmuth, 2016. "Did Chinese Outward Activity Attenuate or Aggravate the Great Recession in Developing Countries?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5735, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Furukawa, Mitsuaki, 2014. "Management of the International Development Aid System Aid System and the Creation of Political Space for China:The Case of Tanzania," Working Papers 82, JICA Research Institute.
    14. Naohiro Kitano, 2014. "China's Foreign Aid at a Transitional Stage," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 9(2), pages 301-317, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aid allocation; China’s foreign aid; new donors; donor motives;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid

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