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Geopolitics, Aid and Growth

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  • Axel Dreher
  • Vera Eichenauer
  • Kai Gehring

Abstract

We investigate the effects of short-term political motivations on the effectiveness of foreign aid. Donor countries’ political motives might reduce the effectiveness of conditionality, channel aid to inferior projects or affect the way aid is spent in other ways, reduce the aid bureaucracy’s effort, and might impact the power structure in the recipient country. We investigate whether geopolitical motives matter by testing whether the effect of aid on economic growth is reduced by the share of years a country has served on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the period the aid has been committed, which provides quasi-random variation in commitments. Our results show that the effect of aid on growth is significantly lower when aid has been granted for political reasons. We derive two conclusions from this. First, short-term political favoritism reduces growth. Second, political interest variables are invalid instruments for aid, raising doubts about a large number of results in the aid effectiveness literature.

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  • Axel Dreher & Vera Eichenauer & Kai Gehring, 2013. "Geopolitics, Aid and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4299, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4299
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    1. Fuchs, Andreas & Dreher, Axel & Hodler, Roland & Parks, Bradley C. & Raschky, Paul, 2015. "Aid on Demand: African Leaders and the Geography of China s Foreign Assistance," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112838, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Bluhm, Richard & Gassebner, Martin & Langlotz, Sarah & Schaudt, Paul, 2016. "Fueling conflict? : (De)escalation and bilateral aid," MERIT Working Papers 053, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Minasyan, Anna & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2015. "Donors' openness to immigration and the effectiveness of foreign aid," Kiel Working Papers 1983, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Axel Dreher & Martin Gassebner & Paul Schaudt, 2017. "The Effect of Migration on Terror - Made at Home or Imported from Abroad?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6441, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Axel Dreher & Valentin F. Lang & Sebastian Ziaja, 2017. "Foreign Aid in Areas of Limited Statehood," CESifo Working Paper Series 6340, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Langlotz, Sarah & Dreher, Axel, 2015. "Aid and growth. New evidence using an excludable instrument," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112878, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Dreher, Axel & Minasyan, Anna & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2013. "Government ideology in donor and recipient countries: Does political proximity matter for the effectiveness of aid?," Kiel Working Papers 1870, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Axel Dreher & Sarah Langlotz & Silvia Marchesi, 2017. "Information Transmission And Ownership Consolidation In Aid Programs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1671-1688, October.
    9. Kersting, Erasmus K. & Kilby, Christopher, 2016. "With a little help from my friends: Global electioneering and World Bank lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 153-165.
    10. Dreher, Axel & Richert, Katharina, 2017. "The Political Economy of International Finance Corporation Lending," CEPR Discussion Papers 12290, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Minasyan, Anna, 2016. "Your development or mine? Effects of donor–recipient cultural differences on the aid-growth nexus," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 309-325.
    12. Lang, Valentin, 2016. "The Economics of the Democratic Deficit: The Effect of IMF Programs on Inequality," Working Papers 0617, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    13. Anna Minasyan & Peter Nunnenkamp, 2016. "Remittances and the Effectiveness of Foreign Aid," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 681-701, August.
    14. Patrick Guillaumont & Laurent Wagner, 2014. "Aid Effectiveness for Poverty Reduction: Lessons from Cross‑country Analyses, with a Special Focus on Vulnerable Countries," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 22(HS01), pages 217-261.
    15. Silvia Marchesi & Laura Sabani, 2013. "Does it take two to tango? Improving cooperation between the IMF and the World Bank: theory and empirical evidence," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_20.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    16. Minasyan, Anna & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Richert, Katharina, 2017. "Does Aid Effectiveness Depend on the Quality of Donors?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 16-30.
    17. L. Chauvet & H. Ehrhart, 2015. "Aid and Growth. Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Working papers 563, Banque de France.
    18. Tobias Rommel & Paul Schaudt, 2016. "First Impressions: How Leader Changes Affect Bilateral Aid," CESifo Working Paper Series 6047, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Ehizuelen Michael Mitchell Omoruyi, 2016. "The Dragon's Goodwill: Examining China's External Finance and African Leaders' Preferentialism," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 1-30, October.
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    21. Hagen, Rune Jansen, 2014. "Rents and the Political Economy of Development Aid," Working Papers in Economics 07/14, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    22. Dutta, Nabamita & Williamson, Claudia R., 2016. "Aiding economic freedom: Exploring the role of political institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 24-38.
    23. Alexandra Rudolph, 2016. "Pension programs around the world: Determinants of social pension," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 212, Courant Research Centre PEG.
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    25. Broich, Tobias & Szirmai, Adam & Thomsson, Kaj, 2015. "Precolonial centralisation, foreign aid and modern state capacity in Africa," MERIT Working Papers 025, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aid effectiveness; economic growth; politics and aid; United Nations Security Council membership; political instruments;

    JEL classification:

    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations

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