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Tied Aid, Trade-Facilitating Aid or Trade-Diverting Aid?

  • Pettersson, Jan


    (Department of Economics)

  • Johansson, Lars M


    (Department of Economics)

Donor aid is often regarded as being informally tied (aid increases donorrecipient exports) and this effect is, in general, interpreted as being harmful to aid recipients. However, in this paper, using a gravity model, we show that aid is also positively associated with recipient-donor exports. That is, aid increases bilateral trade ows in both directions. Our interpretation is that an intensi ed aid relation reduces the e ective cost of geographic distance. We find a particularly strong relation between aid in the form of technical assistance and exports in both directions. When we disaggregate aid to specifically study the effects from trade-related assistance (Aid for Trade) the effect is small and fully accounted for by aid to investments in trade-related infrastructure. Our sample includes all 184 countries for which data is available during the period 1990 to 2005.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2009:5.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 09 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2009_005
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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  1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul Collier & Benedikt Goderis, 2010. "Does Aid Mitigate External Shocks?," Working Papers id:3216, eSocialSciences.
  3. Dollar, David & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Scholarly Articles 4553020, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting Chickens When They Hatch: The Short-term Effect of Aid on Growth," Working Papers 44, Center for Global Development.
  6. Piermartini, Roberta & Teh, Robert, 2005. "Demystifying modelling methods for trade policy," WTO Discussion Papers 10, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  7. Adrian Wood (QEH), . "Looking ahead optimally in allocating aid," QEH Working Papers qehwps137, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  8. Simon Feeny & Mark McGillivray, 2008. "What Determines Bilateral Aid Allocations? Evidence From Time Series Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 515-529, 08.
  9. Francois, Joseph & Manchin, Miriam, 2007. "Institutions, Infrastructure and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6068, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jan Pettersson, 2007. "Child Mortality: Is Aid Fungibility in Pro-Poor Expenditure Sectors Decisive?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 143(4), pages 673-693, December.
  11. Feenstra, Robert C, 2002. "Border Effects and the Gravity Equation: Consistent Methods for Estimation," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 491-506, December.
  12. Richard Baldwin & Daria Taglioni, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," NBER Working Papers 12516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2000. "Aid and Growth Regressions," MPRA Paper 62288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Mark McGillivray & Simon Feeny & Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink, 2006. "Controversies over the impact of development aid: it works; it doesn't; it can, but that depends …," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 1031-1050.
  15. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  16. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Wagner, Don, 2003. "Aid and trade--an empirical study," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 153-173, June.
  18. Laszlo Matyas, 1997. "Proper Econometric Specification of the Gravity Model," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 363-368, 05.
  19. Peter Egger, 2005. "Alternative Techniques for Estimation of Cross-Section Gravity Models," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(5), pages 881-891, November.
  20. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2007. "Unintended Consequences: Does Aid Promote Arms Races?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(1), pages 1-27, 02.
  21. Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Does foreign aid corrupt?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 99-106, April.
  22. Jan Pettersson, 2007. "Foreign sectoral aid fungibility, growth and poverty reduction," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 1074-1098.
  23. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
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