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Economic Aid to Post-conflict Countries: A Methodological Critique of Collier and Hoeffler

Author

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  • Astri Suhrke
  • Espen Villanger
  • Susan L. Woodward

Abstract

This paper retests the analysis of "Aid Policy and Growth in Post-Conflict Societies," by Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler (October 2002 and forthcoming in European Economic Review). It finds that their data and analysis do not support their conclusions and policy recommendations on the optimal timing and amounts of aid. These conclusions depend on very few observations (13 for the period of peace-onset, 13 for years 4 to 7 when a growth spurt is said to make aid particularly effective, and 8 for the period when aid should taper off); are vulnerable to the same methodological misspecifications identified in the Burnside and Dollar approach on which this analysis is based; and are not grounded in any theoretical formulation about the special relation between aid and growth in post-conflict conditions. Conventional econometric procedures are often not followed; recoding the sample to exclude cases that are not civil wars reduces the effect of aid on growth in post-civil war countries to less than half of what they claim; and the difference with the relationship for "normal" countries becomes negligible (0.26 percentage points), although it depends on identification of the sample. Their claims on the poverty-efficiency of aid are assumed, not analysed. The confidentiality of their policy measure (CPIA) prevented testing the aid-policy relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Astri Suhrke & Espen Villanger & Susan L. Woodward, 2005. "Economic Aid to Post-conflict Countries: A Methodological Critique of Collier and Hoeffler," CMI Working Papers WP 2005:4, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2005-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kanbur, Ravi, 2000. "Income distribution and development," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 791-841 Elsevier.
    2. Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Aid effectiveness disputed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 375-398, April.
    3. repec:rus:hseeco:70719 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
    5. Hartzell, Caroline & Hoddie, Matthew & Rothchild, Donald, 2001. "Stabilizing the Peace After Civil War: An Investigation of Some Key Variables," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(01), pages 183-208, December.
    6. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
    7. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
    8. R. Lensink & H. White, 2001. "Are There Negative Returns to Aid?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 42-65.
    9. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2004. "Aid, policy and growth in post-conflict societies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1125-1145, October.
    10. C-J. Dalgaard & H. Hansen, 2001. "On Aid, Growth and Good Policies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 17-41.
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    12. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2003. "New Data, New doubts: A Comment on Burnside and Dollar's "Aid, Policies, and Growth" (2000)," NBER Working Papers 9846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
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    15. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
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    Cited by:

    1. Umit Hacioglu & Hasan Dincer & Ismail Erkan Celik, 2012. "Economic Approach to Conflict Issue: Investment in Post- Conflict Situation for International Business," International Journal of Business Administration, International Journal of Business Administration, Sciedu Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1-8, September.
    2. James Boyce & Shepard Forman, 2010. "Financing Peace: International and National Resources for Postconflict Countries and Fragile States," Working Papers wp238, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    3. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2005. "Corruption in Tax Administration: Lessons from Institutional Reforms in Uganda," CMI Working Papers WP 2005: 10, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    4. Tina Søreide, 2006. "Is it wrong to rank? A critical assessment of corruption indices," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    5. Serhan Cevik & Mohammad Rahmati, 2015. "Breaking the Curse of Sisyphus: An Empirical Analysis of Post-Conflict Economic Transitions," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 57(4), pages 569-597, December.
    6. Carlos Bozzoli & Tilman Brück & Thorsten Drautzburg & Simon Sottsas, 2008. "Economic Costs of Mass Violent Conflicts: Final Report for the Small Arms Survey, Geneva, Switzerland," DIW Berlin: Politikberatung kompakt, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, volume 42, number pbk42.
    7. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Ivar Kolstad & Knut Nygaard, 2006. "Bribes, taxes and regulations: Business constraints for micro enterprises in Tanzania," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 2, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.

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    Keywords

    Economic aid Post-conflict Methodology;

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