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Budget support, conditionality and poverty

  • Paul Mosley

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Abrar Suleiman

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

This paper examines the effectiveness of budget support aid as an anti-poverty instrument. We argue that a major determinant of this effectiveness is the element of trust – or `social capital´, as it may be seen – which builds up between representatives of the donor and recipient. Thus we model the conditionality processes attending budget support aid, not purely in the conventional way as a non-cooperative two-person game, but rather as a non-cooperative game which may mutate into a collaborative equilibrium if sufficient trust between the negotiating parties builds up. Whether or not this happens is, we argue, fundamental to the effectiveness of conditionality, and of budget support aid. This then requires us to enquire into the determinants of trust, which - we empirically demonstrate - derive from the experience of the negotiating parties with one another, from the incentives they are able to provide to trust one another and from the processes within which their negotiations are conducted. The model is tested against two samples: extensively against a broad sample of all African countries undergoing budget support operations and intensively against a narrow sample of Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia. The statistical analysis suggests that trust has in practice been achieved not only through a positive `social history´ but by the transmission of forward-looking `signals´ or `bona fides´ concerning fundamentals: high pro-poor expenditure, low military expenditure, and low corruption show a positive relationship with growing trust (measured in terms of freedom from programme interruptions). Where these signals are present, budget support aid is in general growing, and slippage on overt conditionality is in general forgiven; but there are exceptions to this trend, as our case-study analysis demonstrates . A proactive stance in defence of a pro-poor strategy is positive for trust, as are certain procedural reforms including the presence of an IMF resident mission and frequent face-to-face meetings between negotiators for donor and recipient. High trust generates stability of aid, and stability of aid, in conjunction with its level and its targeting, significantly influences growth and poverty outcomes.

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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2005012.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision: Jun 2005
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2005012
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  1. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
  2. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  4. Paul Mosley & John Hudson & Arjan Verschoor, 2004. "Aid, Poverty Reduction and the 'New Conditionality'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages F217-F243, 06.
  5. 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.
  6. Ale Bulir & A. Javier Hamann, 2003. "Aid Volatility: An Empirical Assessment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 4.
  7. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 1999. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2041, The World Bank.
  8. 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.
  9. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, 07.
  10. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2001. "Can the World Cut Poverty in Half? How Policy Reform and Effective Aid Can Meet International Development Goals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1787-1802, November.
  11. 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 255-85, January.
  12. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
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