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Aid and Growth: Politics Matters

  • Matteo Bobba
  • Andrew Powell

The literature on aid effectiveness has focused more on recipient policies than the determinants of aid allocation yet a consistent result is that political allies obtain more aid from donors than non-allies. This paper shows that aid allocated to political allies is ineffective for growth, whereas aid extended to countries that are not allies is highly effective. The result appears to be robust across different specifications and estimation techniques. In particular, new methods are employed to control for endogeneity. The paper suggests that aid allocation should be scrutinized carefully to make aid as effective as possible.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4511.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4511
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  1. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
  3. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. William R. Hauk & Romain Wacziarg, 2004. "A Monte Carlo Study of Growth Regressions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Aid effectiveness disputed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 375-398.
  6. Raghuram Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth; What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," IMF Working Papers 05/127, International Monetary Fund.
  7. David Roodman, 2007. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-Country Empirics," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 255-277, May.
  8. Stephen Bond & Anke Hoeffler & Jonathan Temple, 2001. "GMM Estimation of Empirical Growth Models," Economics Papers 2001-W21, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  11. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2003. "New Data, New Doubts: Revisiting "Aid, Policies, and Growth"," Working Papers 26, Center for Global Development.
  12. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, EconWPA.
  13. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2006. "Who's Afraid of Foreign Aid? The Donors' Perspective," Research Department Publications 4452, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  14. James H. Stock & Jonathan Wright, 2000. "GMM with Weak Identification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1055-1096, September.
  15. Matteo Bobba & Andrew Powell, 2006. "Multilateral Intermediation of Foreign Aid: What is the Trade-Off for Donor Countries?," Research Department Publications 4500, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  16. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  17. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  18. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2002. "Military expenditure - threats, aid, and arms races," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2927, The World Bank.
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