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Aid, agriculture and poverty in developing countries


  • Paul Mosley

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Abrar Suleiman

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)


We make two contributions to the debate on aid-effectiveness, illustrating that for impact on poverty what matters is not just the level but also the composition and stability of aid. One specific implication of this for aid policy is that aid most effectively reduces poverty if it supports public (and other) expenditures which are supportive of agricultural development – these, our regression analysis confirms, are not only direct expenditure on agriculture, but also education and infrastructure, and military expenditure has a negative impact. Three factors appear to be particularly conducive to the development of stable pro-poor expenditure patterms (and in particular pro-agriculture expenditure patterns). These are expenditure strategies which protect the poor against risk, the development of stable relations between governments and aid donors, and long-term political commitment to pro-poor strategies by government. The argument is pursued partly by panel-data econometric analysis of developing countries as a whole, and partly by case studies of sustained and non-sustained green revolutions in heavily aid-dependent countries in Africa.

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  • Paul Mosley & Abrar Suleiman, 2005. "Aid, agriculture and poverty in developing countries," Working Papers 2005010, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2005010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lele, Uma & Goldsmith, Arthur A, 1989. "The Development of National Agricultural Research Capacity: India's Experience with the Rockefeller Foundation and Its Significance for Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 305-343, January.
    2. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    3. Jayne, T. S. & Jones, Stephen, 1997. "Food marketing and pricing policy in Eastern and Southern Africa: A survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1505-1527, September.
    4. Fan, Shenggen & Hazell, P. B. R. & Thorat, Sukhadeo, 1998. "Government spending, growth and poverty: an analysis of interlinkages in rural India," EPTD discussion papers 33, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
    6. Hans P. Binswanger, 2000. "The Growth Performance of Agriculture in Subsaharan Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1075-1086.
    7. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, July.
    8. Paul Mosley & John Hudson & Arjan Verschoor, 2004. "Aid, Poverty Reduction and the 'New Conditionality'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages 217-243, June.
    9. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    10. Brautigam, Deborah A & Knack, Stephen, 2004. "Foreign Aid, Institutions, and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 255-285, January.
    11. Paul Mosley, 2002. "The African green revolution as a pro-poor policy instrument," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(6), pages 695-724.
    12. Paul Mosley & Abrar Suleiman, 2005. "Budget support, conditionality and poverty," Working Papers 2005012, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
    13. Michael Johnson & Peter Hazell & Ashok Gulati, 2003. "The Role of Intermediate Factor Markets in Asia's Green Revolution: Lessons for Africa?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1211-1216.
    14. Freebairn, Donald K., 1995. "Did the Green Revolution Concentrate Incomes? A Quantitative Study of Research Reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 265-279, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergh, Andreas & Nilsson, Therese, 2014. "Is Globalization Reducing Absolute Poverty?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 42-61.
    2. Bergh, Andreas & Nilsson, Therese, 2011. "Globalization and Absolute Poverty – A Panel Data Study," Working Paper Series 862, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    3. Patrick Guillaumont & Laurent Wagner, 2014. "Aid Effectiveness for Poverty Reduction: Lessons from Cross‑country Analyses, with a Special Focus on Vulnerable Countries," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 22(HS01), pages 217-261.
    4. Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2009. "Aid effectiveness for poverty reduction: macroeconomic overview and emerging issues," Working Papers P05, FERDI.
    5. Paul Mosley, 2012. "The politics of what works for the poor in public expenditure and taxation: a review," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series esid-011-12, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    6. Hudson, John, 2015. "Consequences of Aid Volatility for Macroeconomic Management and Aid Effectiveness," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 62-74.
    7. repec:gen:geneem:13041 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:sdo:regaec:v:26:y:2017:i:2_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Alain McLaren, 2013. "Asymmetry in price transmission in agricultural markets," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 13102, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    10. Hudson, John, 2012. "Consequences of Aid Volatility for Macroeconomic Management and Aid Effectiveness," WIDER Working Paper Series 035, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Carlos Pestana Barros & Otavio Henrique dos Santos Figueiredo & Peter Fernades Wanke, 2016. "Peasants’ Poverty and Inequality in Angola," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 751-761, September.
    12. Tchale, Hardwick & Sauer, Johannes, 2008. "Soil Fertility Management And Maize Productivity In Malawi: Curvature Correct Efficiency Modeling And Simulation," 2007 Second International Conference, August 20-22, 2007, Accra, Ghana 52077, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    13. Gebregziabher, Fiseha & Nino-Zarazua, Miguel, 2014. "Social spending and aggregate welfare in developing and transition economies," WIDER Working Paper Series 082, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Been‐Lon Chen & Shun‐Fa Lee, 2012. "Intersectoral Spillovers, Relative Prices and Development Traps," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 243-261, May.
    15. Hudson, John & Mosley, Paul, 2008. "Aid Volatility, Policy and Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2082-2102, October.
    16. Olubode-Awosola, O.O. & van Schalkwyk, H.D. & Jooste, A., 2008. "Mathematical modeling of the South African land redistribution for development policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 841-855.
    17. Khalid Zaman & Bashir Khilji, 2014. "A note on pro-poor social expenditures," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 2121-2154, July.
    18. Hudson, John & Mosley, Paul, 2008. "The macroeconomic impact of aid volatility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 486-489, June.
    19. Sue Bowden & Paul Mosley, 2012. "Politics, Public Expenditure and the Evolution of Poverty in Africa 1920-2009," Working Papers 2012003, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.

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