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Foreign Aid in Equatorial Guinea: Macroeconomic Features and Future Challenges


  • Larrú, José María


The paper carries out a deep case study of the international aid that Equatorial Guinea receives. This is an extremely interesting country because, not being a failed state, it presents very low indexes in institutional quality. Its oil richness, which began to be exploited by foreign investors in 1996, has meant a structural change of extraordinary interest without the traditional effects of Dutch disease. While in 1989 the country financed 54% of its GDP with ODA, in 1996 this ratio represented only 22% and nowadays barely reaches 0.5% thanks to the enormous growth of foreign investment. The article analyses empirically the predictability of the ODA flows -mainly composed of Spanish funds-, their stability, cyclical behaviour and stabilizing effect on the GDP. The main findings of the study are that the ODA has been a hardly predictable, relatively stable, counter-cyclical flow and that it does have a stabilizing effect on its product. The FDI (Direct Foreign Investment), on the other hand is much more volatile and pro-cyclical, although it shares the stabilizing effect of the ODA. For every million dollars of the FDI, GDP grew 0.1%. Development aid, on the contrary, doesn’t have a statistically significant impact if we consider the time period 1985-2006. But it does in 1985-1995. Every additional million dollars of ODA made the GDP grow 1.3%. The sectoral analysis of ODA revealed that more than 80% of Spanish aid has been invested in social services, especially education (46%) and healthcare (26%), carried out by two NGOs that somehow became accomplices of the social underdevelopment that the Guinean government maintains since its independence. The article concludes with some ideas on how to improve the quality of Spanish ODA, especially proposing a deadline for the aid and a result-based conditionality, like the Aid Efficiency Agenda of Accra suggests.

Suggested Citation

  • Larrú, José María, 2010. "Foreign Aid in Equatorial Guinea: Macroeconomic Features and Future Challenges," MPRA Paper 25001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, January.
    2. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2007. "Governance Matters VI: Aggregate and Individual Governance Indicators, 1996-2006," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4280, The World Bank.
    3. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2010. "The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey," Scholarly Articles 4454156, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Emmanuel Frot & Javier Santiso, 2008. "Development Aid and Portfolio Funds: Trends, Volatility and Fragmentation," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 275, OECD Publishing.
    5. World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367.
    6. Simeon Djankov & Jose Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2008. "The curse of aid," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 169-194, September.
    7. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Le, Tuan Minh & Raballand, Gael, 2010. "Increasing public expenditure efficiency in oil-rich economies : a proposal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5287, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mare Sarr & Chiara Ravetti & Tim Swanson, 2015. "Why Give Aid to Resource-Rich Autocrats?," CIES Research Paper series 39-2015, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    2. Muhammad Nayaz & Javed Husain, 2013. "Pakistan’s Monetary Aid Concerns," South Asian Journal of Management Sciences (SAJMS), Iqra University, Iqra University, vol. 7(1), pages 31-34, Spring.

    More about this item


    development aid; Dutch disease; stabilization; evaluation; results; volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other

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