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Donor coordination and the uses of aid


  • Bigsten, Arne

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)


The paper discusses donor coordination and its implications for the uses of aid. The paper starts by specifying a simple framework for the discussion, and then reviews the theoretical literature. It then provides some data on donor proliferation and discusses how coordination modalities have evolved over time, in particular during the current phase with partnership and ownership. The following sections summarize the limited empirical evidence available on the impact of coordination on transaction costs and public-sector management and governance. A key issue with regard to the latter is how donor coordination affects the incentives of the recipient government. The paper concludes with a review of the policy debate and some policy conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bigsten, Arne, 2006. "Donor coordination and the uses of aid," Working Papers in Economics 196, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0196

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Azam, Jean-Paul & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 2003. "Contracting for aid," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 25-58, February.
    2. Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Why conditional aid does not work and what can be done about it?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 381-402, April.
    3. Torsvik, Gaute, 2005. "Foreign economic aid; should donors cooperate?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 503-515, August.
    4. Finn Tarp, 2006. "Aid and Development," Discussion Papers 06-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    5. Gerry Helleiner, 2002. "Local Ownership and Donor Performance Monitoring: New Aid Relationships in Tanzania?," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 251-261.
    6. William Easterly, 2002. "The cartel of good intentions: The problem of bureaucracy in foreign aid," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 223-250.
    7. Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2004. "Solutions When the Solution is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 191-212, February.
    8. O'Connell, Stephen A. & Soludo, Charles C., 2001. "Aid Intensity in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1527-1552, September.
    9. Kanbur, Ravi & Sandler, Todd & Morrison, Kevin, 1999. "The Future of Development Assistance: Common Pools and International Public Goods," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1629, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Brautigam, Deborah A & Knack, Stephen, 2004. "Foreign Aid, Institutions, and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 255-285, January.
    11. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
    12. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Tichit, Ariane, 2004. "Bilateral donors' aid allocation decisions--a three-dimensional panel analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 253-274.
    13. Kanbur, Ravi, 2006. "The economics of international aid," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    14. C. S. Adam & S. A. O'Connell, 1999. "Aid, Taxation and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 225-253, November.
    15. Rosenstein-Rodan, Paul N., 1968. "The Consortia Technique," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(01), pages 223-230, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nunnenkamp, Peter & Öhler, Hannes, 2011. "Aid Allocation through Various Official and Private Channels: Need, Merit, and Self-Interest as Motives of German Donors," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 308-323, March.
    2. Öhler, Hannes & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Dreher, Axel, 2012. "Does conditionality work? A test for an innovative US aid scheme," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 138-153.
    3. Dreher, Axel & Minasyan, Anna & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2015. "Government ideology in donor and recipient countries: Does ideological proximity matter for the effectiveness of aid?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 80-92.
    4. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i:4:p:455-473 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Aid; donor coordination; transaction costs; incentive effects;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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