IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Helping Hand ? Aid to Failing States

Listed author(s):
  • Lisa Chauvet


    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Paul Collier


    (CSAE, Oxford)

We define ‘failing states’ are those low-income states in which policy and governance is persistently very bad. We develop a theory of reform in these states in which several characteristics of the society might potentially be the binding constraint on change. We then introduce aid, disaggregated into technical assistance and finance, showing how it might affect these constraints. We then test our theory of aid and reform on global data. We estimate hazard functions to establish what enhances the prospects of sustained reform. We find that a proxy for the relaxation of the binding constraints postulated in the theory is highly significant. There is some evidence that both technical capacity in the society and elite interests are particularly important. Early aid has substantial but offsetting effects: technical assistance consolidates incipient reform whereas finance chills it.________________________________ Les Etats fragiles auxquels nous nous intéressons sont les pays à faible revenu caractérisés par la faiblesse de leurs institutions et de leurs politiques économiques. Le statut d’Etat fragile est très persistant. Nous développons une théorie des réformes, adaptée à ce contexte, dans laquelle plusieurs caractéristiques de la société peuvent potentiellement contraindre les réformes. Nous identifions la manière dont l’aide peut influencer ces différentes contraintes en distinguant l’assistance technique du reste de l’aide. Nous proposons ensuite des tests économétriques de manière à identifier les principales contraintes aux réformes dans les Etats fragiles, et le rôle de l’aide. Ces tests suggèrent que les contraintes de capacité institutionnelle et de préférences de l’élite au pouvoir sont particulièrement importantes dans les Etats fragiles. De plus, en début de réforme, l’assistance technique renforce le processus de réforme tandis que l’aide financière le fragilise.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2006
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2006/14.

in new window

Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200614
Contact details of provider: Postal:
4, rue d'Enghien, 75010 Paris

Phone: + 33 1 53 24 14 50
Fax: + 33 1 53 24 14 51
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200614. 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: (Loic Le Pezennec)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.