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Does Aid Improve Public Service Delivery?


  • Wolf, Susanna


The expected increase in aid to Africa will put a big challenge for public service delivery. Using a simultaneous equation model, this paper provides an analysis of the effects of the volume and volatility of aid on education, health, water and sanitation outcomes, taking also into account the institutions related to public service delivery, including freedom of press, corruption and decentralization. Overall, the share of official development assistance (ODA) that is provided for education and health seems to have a positive impact on the outcomes in these sectors, whereas total aid seems to be negatively associated. Aid volatility is associated with better outcomes in sanitation, water and infant mortality, contrary to expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolf, Susanna, 2007. "Does Aid Improve Public Service Delivery?," WIDER Working Paper Series 071, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2007-71

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    Cited by:

    1. Faheem Jehangir Khan, 2016. "The Aid Policy Network in Pakistan: An Actor-Network Analysis," PIDE-Working Papers 2016:140, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    2. Birchler, Kassandra & Michaelowa, Katharina, 2016. "Making aid work for education in developing countries: An analysis of aid effectiveness for primary education coverage and quality," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 37-52.
    3. Philip Michael Kargbo & Kunal Sen, 2014. "Aid Categories that Foster Pro-Poor Growth: The Case of Sierra Leone," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 26(2), pages 416-429, June.
    4. Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2009. "Aid effectiveness for poverty reduction: macroeconomic overview and emerging issues," Working Papers P05, FERDI.
    5. Axel Dreher & Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2008. "Does Aid for Education Educate Children? Evidence from Panel Data," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 291-314, April.
    6. d’Aiglepierre, Rohen & Wagner, Laurent, 2013. "Aid and Universal Primary Education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 95-112.
    7. Ahmad, Khalil & Ali, Amjad & Irfan Chani, Muhammad, 2014. "Does sector specific foreign aid matter for fertility? An empirical analysis form Pakistan," MPRA Paper 72851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Hudson, John, 2015. "Consequences of Aid Volatility for Macroeconomic Management and Aid Effectiveness," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 62-74.
    9. Breitwieser, Anja & Wick, Katharina, 2016. "What We Miss By Missing Data: Aid Effectiveness Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 554-571.
    10. Anwar, Mumtaz & Rashid, Muhammad Khalid, 2011. "Effectiveness of foreign aid in the light of millennium development goal on the health sector: a case study of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 37142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Pedrosa-Garcia, Jose Antonio, 2017. "Trends and Features of Research on Foreign Aid: A Literature Review," MPRA Paper 82134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Maiga, Eugenie W.H., 2014. "Does foreign aid in education foster gender equality in developing countries?," WIDER Working Paper Series 048, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Fenta Mandefro & Mina Noor & Nora Stel, 2011. "Service Delivery and State Legitimacy: Multi-Stakeholder Processes in Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia," Working Papers 2011/37, Maastricht School of Management.
    14. Jennis J. BISER & Jeffrey A. EDWARDS, 2012. "Civil Liberties and Access to Water: Analysis of 193 Countries," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(1).
    15. 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).
    16. Bain, Robert & Bartram, Jamie & Luyendijk, Rolf, 2013. "Universal Access to Drinking Water: The Role of Aid," WIDER Working Paper Series 088, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    17. Fenta Mandefro & Mina Noor & Nora Stel, 2012. "Service Delivery and State Legitimacy: Multi-Stakeholder Processes in Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia As defined by the," Working Papers 2012/44, Maastricht School of Management.
    18. Kleemann, Linda & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiele, Rainer, 2014. "Gender inequality, female leadership, and aid allocation: A panel analysis of aid for education," WIDER Working Paper Series 010, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    19. Ndikumana, Léonce & Pickbourn, Lynda, 2017. "The Impact of Foreign Aid Allocation on Access to Social Services in sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Water and Sanitation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 104-114.
    20. Shimeles Abebe & Adeleke Oluwole Salami & Anthony M. Simpasa, 2015. "Working Paper 221 - Employment Effects of Multilateral Development Bank Projects The Case of the African Development Bank," Working Paper Series 2160, African Development Bank.
    21. Ziesemer, Thomas, 2012. "The impact of development aid on education and health: Survey and new evidence from dynamic models," MERIT Working Papers 057, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    22. Nicolas Van de Sijpe, 2013. "Is Foreign Aid Fungible? Evidence from the Education and Health Sectors," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 27(2), pages 320-356.


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