IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Welfare Gains of Aid Indexation in Small Open Economies


  • Anubha Dhasmana


Foreign aid flows to poor, aid-dependent economies are highly volatile and pro-cyclical. Shortfalls in aid coincide with shortfalls in GDP and government revenues. This increases the consumption volatility in aid dependent countries, thereby causing substantial welfare losses. This paper finds that indexing aid flows to exogenous shocks like a change in the terms of trade can significantly improve the welfare of aid-dependent country by lowering its output and consumption volatility. Compared to the benchmark specification with stochastic aid flows, indexation of aid flows to terms of trade shocks can reduce the cost of business cycle fluctuations in the recipient country by four percent of permanent consumption. Moreover, use of indexed aid can allow donors to reduce the aid flows by three percent without lowering the level of welfare in the recipient country.

Suggested Citation

  • Anubha Dhasmana, 2008. "Welfare Gains of Aid Indexation in Small Open Economies," IMF Working Papers 08/101, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/101

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. berlage, Lodewijk & cassimon, Danny & dreze, Jacques & Reding, Paul, 2003. "Prospective Aid and Indebtedness Relief: A Proposal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1635-1654, October.
    2. Pallage, Stephane & Robe, Michel A, 2001. "Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 641-672, November.
    3. Paul Cashin & Hong Liang & C. John McDermott, 2000. "How Persistent Are Shocks to World Commodity Prices?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(2), pages 1-2.
    4. Bulír, Ales & Hamann, A. Javier, 2008. "Volatility of Development Aid: From the Frying Pan into the Fire?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2048-2066, October.
    5. repec:cor:louvrp:-1660 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Peter Wickham, 1994. "Commodity Prices: Cyclical Weakness or Secular Decline?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(2), pages 175-213, June.
    7. Sergio Rebelo & Carlos A. Vegh, 1995. "Real Effects of Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization: An Analysis of Competing Theories," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 125-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "When is foreign aid policy credible? Aid dependence and conditionality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 61-84, February.
    9. Stephane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2003. "On the Welfare Cost of Economic Fluctuations in Developing Countries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 677-698, May.
    10. Cuddington, John T., 1992. "Long-run trends in 26 primary commodity prices : A disaggregated look at the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 207-227, October.
    11. Ale Bulir & A. Javier Hamann, 2003. "Aid Volatility: An Empirical Assessment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 1-4.
    12. Joseph Atta-Mensah, 2004. "Commodity-Linked Bonds: A Potential Means for Less-Developed Countries to Raise Foreign Capital," Staff Working Papers 04-20, Bank of Canada.
    13. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. International Monetary Fund, 2008. "Foreign Reserve Adequacy in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 08/150, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Dobronogov, Anton & Keutiben, Octave, 2014. "Containing volatility : windfall revenues for resource-rich low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6956, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Business cycles; Aid; Aid flows; Consumption; Development assistance; Small states; Low-income developing countries; Indexation; Welfare; Terms of trade; Volatility; Business Cycle; terms of trade shocks; trade shocks; tradable goods;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow) or (Hassan Zaidi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.