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It Works; It Doesn't; It Can, But that Depends...: 50 Years of Controversy Over the Macroeconomic Impact of Development Aid

Author

Listed:
  • Mark McGillivray
  • Simon Feeny
  • Niels Hermes
  • Robert Lensink

Abstract

This paper surveys 50 years of empirical research on the macroeconomic impact of aid, looking mainly at studies examining the link between aid and growth. It argues that studies dating until the late 1990s produced either contradictory or inconclusive results. Aid either worked, or it didn't, according to this research. The paper then highlights a major shift in the literature that coincided with the release of the World Bank's Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn't and Why.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark McGillivray & Simon Feeny & Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink, 2005. "It Works; It Doesn't; It Can, But that Depends...: 50 Years of Controversy Over the Macroeconomic Impact of Development Aid," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2005-54, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2005-54
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    File URL: https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/rp2005-54.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Dreher, Axel & Mölders, Florian & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2007. "Are NGOs the better donors? A case study of aid allocation for Sweden," Kiel Working Papers 1383, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "Decentralizing Aid with Interested Parties," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-06, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Mina Baliamoune, 2009. "Policy Reform and Aid Effectiveness in Africa," ICER Working Papers 19-2009, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    6. Hodler, Roland & Dreher, Axel, 2013. "Development (paradigm) failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 63-74.
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    8. Felicitas Nowak‐Lehmann & Axel Dreher & Dierk Herzer & Stephan Klasen & Inmaculada Martínez‐Zarzoso, 2012. "Does foreign aid really raise per capita income? A time series perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(1), pages 288-313, February.
    9. Gerhard Hoffstaedter & Chris Roche, 2011. "‘All the world's a stage’: structure, agency and accountability in international aid," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 529-543.
    10. Léonce Ndikumana, 2013. "Applying Evaluation to Development and Aid: Can Evaluation Bridge the Micro-macro Gaps in Aid Effectiveness?," Published Studies article-leonce-ndikumana-, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    11. Simon Feeny & Mark Rogers, 2008. "Public sector efficiency, foreign aid and small island developing states," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 526-546.
    12. Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Dierk Herzer & Stephan Klasen & Axel Dreher, 2009. "In Search for a Long-run Relationship between Aid and Growth: Pitfalls and Findings," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 196, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

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