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The Short-Run Macroeconomics of Aid Inflows; Understanding the Interaction of Fiscal and Reserve Policy


  • Luis-Felipe Zanna
  • Andrew Berg
  • Tokhir N Mirzoev
  • Rafael A Portillo


We develop a tractable open-economy new-Keynesian model with two sectors to analyze the short-term effects of aid-financed fiscal expansions. We distinguish between spending the aid, which is under the control of the fiscal authorities, and absorbing the aid-using the aid to finance a higher current account deficit-which is influenced by the central bank's reserves policy when access to international capital markets is limited. The standard treatment of the transfer problem implicitly assumes spending equals absorption. Here, in contrast, a policy mix that results in spending but not absorbing the aid generates demand pressures and results in an increase in real interest rates. It can also lead to a temporary real depreciation if demand pressures are strong enough to threaten external balance. Certain features of low income countries, such as limited participation in domestic financial markets, make a real depreciation more likely by amplifying demand pressures when aid is spent but not absorbed. The results from our model can help understand the recent experience of Uganda, which saw an increase in government spending following a surge in aid yet experienced a real depreciation and an increase in real interest rates.

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  • Luis-Felipe Zanna & Andrew Berg & Tokhir N Mirzoev & Rafael A Portillo, 2010. "The Short-Run Macroeconomics of Aid Inflows; Understanding the Interaction of Fiscal and Reserve Policy," IMF Working Papers 10/65, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/65

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Temple, Jonathan & Van de Sijpe, Nicolas, 2017. "Foreign aid and domestic absorption," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 431-443.
    2. Eric Gabin Kilama, 2014. "Recipients aid absorption in the new development cooperation landscape," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1929-1944.
    3. Huseynov, Salman & Ahmadov, Vugar, 2014. "Azərbaycan üzrə DSÜT modeli: qiymətləndirmə və proqnozlaşdırma
      [A DSGE model for Azerbaijan: estimation and forecasting]
      ," MPRA Paper 78123, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Chance Mwabutwa & Nicola Viegi & Manoel Bittencourt, 2012. "Monetary Policy Response to Capital Inflows in Form of Foreign Aid in Malawi," Working Papers 201232, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    5. Berg, Andrew & Portillo, Rafael & Zanna, Luis-Felipe, 2015. "Policy Responses to Aid Surges in Countries with Limited International Capital Mobility: The Role of the Exchange Rate Regime," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 116-129.
    6. Andrew Berg & Filiz D Unsal & Rafael A Portillo, 2010. "On the Optimal Adherence to Money Targets in a New-Keynesian Framework; An Application to Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 10/134, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Zoundi, Zakaria, 2015. "The Absorption and Spending Capacity of Aid in the Economic Community of West African States," MPRA Paper 66736, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Aug 2015.
    8. Chatterjee Santanu & Giuliano Paola & Kaya Ilker, 2012. "Where Has All the Money Gone? Foreign Aid and the Composition of Government Spending," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-36, August.
    9. Bwire, Thomas & Lloyd, Tim & Morrissey, Oliver, 2013. "Foreign Aid, Public Sector and Private Consumption: A Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Approach," WIDER Working Paper Series 094, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Salifou Issoufou & Edward F Buffie & Mouhamadou Bamba Diop & Kalidou Thiaw, 2014. "Efficient Energy Investment and Fiscal Adjustment in Senegal," IMF Working Papers 14/44, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Hamid R Davoodi & S. V. S. Dixit & Gabor Pinter, 2013. "Monetary Transmission Mechanism in the East African Community; An Empirical Investigation," IMF Working Papers 13/39, International Monetary Fund.


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