Does Foreign Aid Promote Democracy?
Aid potentially can contribute to democratization in several ways: (1) through technical assistance focusing on electoral processes, the strengthening of legislatures and judiciaries as checks on executive power, and the promotion of civil society organizations, including a free press; (2) through conditionality; and (3) by improving education and increasing per capita incomes, which research shows are conducive to democratization. This study provides a multivariate analysis of the impact of aid on democratization in a large sample of recipient nations over the 1975-2000 period. Using two different democracy indexes and two different measures of aid intensity, no evidence is found that aid promotes democracy. This result is robust to alternative model specifications and estimation techniques, including the use of exogenous instruments for aid. Results are similar if the analysis is confined to the post-Cold War period (1990-2000), despite the reduced dependence of the U.S. and other donors on pro-Western authoritarian regimes among aid recipient nations.
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- Svensson, Jakob, 2000.
"Foreign aid and rent-seeking,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 437-461, August.
- Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "Foreign aid and rent-seeking," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1880, The World Bank.
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- Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
- Stephen Knack, 2001. "Aid Dependence and the Quality of Governance: Cross-Country Empirical Tests," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 310-329, October.
- Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
- Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 2009. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd Edition (paper)," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4129, November.
- Isham, Jonathan & Kaufmann, Daniel & Pritchett, Lant H, 1997. "Civil Liberties, Democracy, and the Performance of Government Projects," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 219-242, May.
- Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1990. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: 2nd Edition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 82, January.
- Clague, Christopher & Gleason, Suzanne & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Determinants of lasting democracy in poor countries," MPRA Paper 28048, University Library of Munich, Germany. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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