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In Search for a Long-run Relationship between Aid and Growth: Pitfalls and Findings

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In this paper we investigate the relationship between per capita income and foreign aid for a panel of 131 (alternatively 52) recipient countries over the period 1960 to 2006 by employing annual data and 5-year averages. Reliance on standard panel estimation techniques, such as 2-ways FE estimation, panel GMM and SUR estimation, points to some pitfalls (impossibility of possible cointegration between aid and growth, autocorrelation of the error terms, endogeneity of the variables) that must be dealt with panel time series techniques (such as panel unit root test, panel cointegration tests and panel dynamic feasible generalized least squares estimation (DFGLS)). Estimations with DFGLS show that aid has an insignificant or a minute negative significant impact on per capita income. This result holds for countries with above- and below-average aid-to-GDP ratios, for countries with different levels of human development, with different income levels and from different regions of the world. It can be shown that by not controlling for autocorrelation, one erroneously attributes to aid a larger, significant negative impact on per capita income. We also find that aid has a significant positive (even though) small impact on investment, but a negative and significant impact on domestic savings (crowding out) and the real exchange rate (appreciation).

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  • Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Dierk Herzer & Stephan Klasen & Axel Dreher, 2009. "In Search for a Long-run Relationship between Aid and Growth: Pitfalls and Findings," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 196, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:196
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    Cited by:

    1. Nowak-Lehmann D., Felicitas & Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada & Cardozo, Adriana & Herzer, Dierk & Klasen, Stephan, 2011. "Does Aid translate into Bilateral Trade? Findings for Recipient Countries," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 61, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    2. José María, Larrú, 2012. "La relación entre la ayuda al desarrollo y la desigualdad. Evidencia y justificación teórica
      [Aid and inequality relationship. Evidence and theoretical justification]
      ," MPRA Paper 38857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Adriana Cardozo & Dierk Herzer & Stephan Klasen, 2010. "Foreign Aid and Recipient Countries’ Exports: Does Aid Promote Bilateral Trade?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 49, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    4. González, Mariano & Larrú, José María, 2012. "Egalitarian aid. The impact of aid on Latin American inequality," MPRA Paper 41660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Doucouliagos, Hristos & Paldam, Martin, 2011. "The ineffectiveness of development aid on growth: An update," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 399-404, June.
    6. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2009. "Development Aid and Growth: An association converging to zero," Economics Working Papers 2009-17, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign aid; real per capita income; panel time series techniques; dynamic feasible generalized linear least squares (DFGLS);

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation

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