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The Effects of Foreign Aid in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Robert Gillanders

    (University College Dublin)

This paper contributes to the aid effectiveness debate by applying a vector autore- gression model to a panel of Sub-Saharan African countries. This method avoids the need for instrumental variables and allows one to analyse the impact of foreign aid on human development and on economic development simultaneously. The full sample results indicate a small increase in economic growth following a fairly substantial aid shock. The size of the effect puts the result somewhere between the arguments of aid optimists and those of aid pessimists. Economic growth is found to respond more to aid shocks in groups defined by better economic policies, poor institutions and high aid dependence. Human development, for which I use the growth rate of life expectancy as a proxy, responds positively to aid shocks in democracies and in good institutional environments.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/WP11_16.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201116.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 23 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201116
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2001. "On the Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-13, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Sep 2003.
  2. Gomanee, Karuna & Morrissey, Oliver & Mosley, Paul & Verschoor, Arjan, 2005. "Aid, Government Expenditure, and Aggregate Welfare," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 355-370, March.
  3. Henrik Hansen & Derek Headey, 2010. "The Short-Run Macroeconomic Impact of Foreign Aid to Small States: An Agnostic Time Series Analysis," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(5), pages 877-896.
  4. Robert Osei & Oliver Morrissey & Tim Lloyd, 2005. "The fiscal effects of aid in Ghana," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 1037-1053.
  5. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  6. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
  7. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 1999. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2041, The World Bank.
  8. Charles C. Chang & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Luis Servén, 1998. "Measuring Aid Flows: A New Approach," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6447, Inter-American Development Bank.
  9. Karuna Gomanee & Sourafel Girma & Oliver Morrissey, 2005. "Aid, public spending and human welfare: evidence from quantile regressions," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 299-309.
  10. Love, Inessa & Zicchino, Lea, 2006. "Financial development and dynamic investment behavior: Evidence from panel VAR," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 190-210, May.
  11. C-J. Dalgaard & H. Hansen, 2001. "On Aid, Growth and Good Policies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 17-41.
  12. Chang, Charles C. & Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & Serven, Luis, 1999. "Measuring aid flows : a new approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2050, The World Bank.
  13. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-55, June.
  14. Alessandro Rebucci, 2003. "On the Heterogeneity Bias of Pooled Estimators in Stationary VAR Specifications," IMF Working Papers 03/73, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Mark McGillivray & Farhad Noorbakhsh, . "Aid, Conflict and Human Development," Working Papers 2007_03, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
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