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Chinese Aid to Africa: Distinguishing Features and Local Effects

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  • Isaksson, Ann-Sofie

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Kotsadam, Andreas

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

Abstract

Drawing on our recent work on local effects of Chinese development projects in Africa, this review article highlights a number of distinguishing features of Chinese aid, and discusses how these may translate into local aid impacts that differ from those of other donors. Unlike aid from other major donors, Chinese aid projects were found to fuel local corruption, discourage trade union involvement, to not increase political incumbency support, and to make ethnic identities more salient in the local areas. As such, our findings highlight important donor heterogeneities as well as the need to consider not only to what extent aid achieves its explicit objectives, but also its potential unintended effects, or externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2020. "Chinese Aid to Africa: Distinguishing Features and Local Effects," Working Paper Series 1337, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1337
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carl Henrik Knutsen & Andreas Kotsadam & Eivind Hammersmark Olsen & Tore Wig, 2017. "Mining and Local Corruption in Africa," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 61(2), pages 320-334, April.
    2. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2019. "Chinese aid and local ethnic identification," Working Papers in Economics 761, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2018. "Racing to the bottom? Chinese development projects and trade union involvement in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 284-298.
    4. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2018. "Chinese aid and local corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 146-159.
    5. Benn Eifert & Edward Miguel & Daniel N. Posner, 2010. "Political Competition and Ethnic Identification in Africa," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(2), pages 494-510, April.
    6. Knutsen, Tora & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2020. "The political economy of aid allocation: Aid and incumbency at the local level in Sub Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    7. Samuel Brazys & Johan A. Elkink & Gina Kelly, 2017. "Bad neighbors? How co-located Chinese and World Bank development projects impact local corruption in Tanzania," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 227-253, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Africa; Foreign aid;

    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
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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