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Aid versus trade revisited

  • Christopher S. Adam
  • Stephen A. O'Connell
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    This paper examines the (non) equivalance between aid flows and trade preferences as alternative forms of donor assistance in the presence of learning-by-doing externalities in recipient country export production. Using a two-period model based on vanWijnbergen (1985), in which the productivity externality consistitues the only (inter-temporal) distortion, we show that switching donor support on the margin from aid to trade preferences can increase recipient country welfare. To evaluate the size of this potential welfare gain to small African economies we simulate donor policy reforms using a dynamic CGE model where the productivity externality may also interact with private capital accumulation. We show that for reasonable values of key behavioural parameters, the potential growth and welfare gains from a (donor) revenue neutral re-orientation of assistance to developing countries could be substantial. The paper concludes by considering why these potential dynamic gains appear to be unexpoited by both donors and recipients.

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    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2000-19.

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    Date of creation: 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2000-19
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    1. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1985. "Aid, Export Promotion and the Real Exchange Rate: An African Dilemma?," CEPR Discussion Papers 88, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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