IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/usg/dp2004/2004-11.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Macroeconomic Effects of Foreign Aid: A Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Philipp Harms
  • Matthias Lutz

Abstract

Research on the macroeconomic effects of aid has expanded rapidly in recent years. In this paper, we provide a survey of this literature. We start by reviewing some theoretical models that suggest a positive impact of aid on investment and growth. We then discuss the empirical evidence, giving particular attention to the role of institutions and policies in determining aid effectiveness. As a general conclusion, we suggest adopting a more disaggregate perspective with respect both to different types of aid and to various aspects of governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Harms & Matthias Lutz, 2004. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Foreign Aid: A Survey," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-11, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2004:2004-11
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2004/dp11_har.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jensen, Peter Sandholt & Paldam, Martin, "undated". "Can the new aid-growth models be replicated," Economics Working Papers 2003-17, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Charles C. Chang & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Luis Serven, 1998. "Measuring Aid Flows: A New Approach," Research Department Publications 4146, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    5. Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Aid effectiveness disputed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 375-398, April.
    6. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 709-751, August.
    7. Dollar, David & Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "What Explains the Success or Failure of Structural Adjustment Programmes?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 894-917, October.
    8. Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Why conditional aid does not work and what can be done about it?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 381-402, April.
    9. Rolf J. Langhammer, 2004. "Halving Poverty by Doubling Aid: Is There Reason for Optimism?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 81-98, January.
    10. Harold J. Brumm, 2003. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Bauer Was Right," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 23(2), pages 167-174, Fall.
    11. Philipp Harms & Matthias Lutz, 2003. "Aid, Governance, and Private Foreign Investment: Some Puzzling Findings and a Possible Explanation," Working Papers 03.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    12. Oecd, 2002. "Aid volume, channels and allocations for poverty reduction," OECD Journal on Development, OECD Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 33-46.
    13. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Beatrice Weder, 2002. "Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1126-1137, September.
    15. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1056-1069, July.
    16. Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Does foreign aid corrupt?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 99-106, April.
    17. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Foreign aid and rent-seeking," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 437-461, August.
    18. Finn Tarp, 2006. "Aid and Development," Discussion Papers 06-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    19. P. Guillaumont & L. Chauvet, 2001. "Aid and Performance: A Reassessment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 66-92.
    20. Azariadis, Costas, 1996. "The Economics of Poverty Traps: Part One: Complete Markets," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 449-496, December.
    21. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross‐Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    22. Peter Boone, 1995. "Politics and the Effectiveness of Foreign Aid," CEP Discussion Papers dp0272, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    23. Charles C. Chang & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Luis Serven, 1998. "Measuring Aid Flows: A New Approach," Research Department Publications 4146, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    24. J. Svensson, 1999. "Aid, Growth and Democracy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 275-297, November.
    25. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
    26. Peter Boone, 1995. "Politics and the Effectiveness of Foreign Aid," NBER Working Papers 5308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
    28. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
    29. Easterly, William, 1999. "The ghost of financing gap: testing the growth model used in the international financial institutions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 423-438, December.
    30. Bacha, Edmar L., 1990. "A three-gap model of foreign transfers and the GDP growth rate in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 279-296, April.
    31. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    32. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2003. "New Data, New doubts: A Comment on Burnside and Dollar's "Aid, Policies, and Growth" (2000)," NBER Working Papers 9846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Feyzioglu, Tarhan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Zhu, Min, 1998. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Fungibility of Foreign Aid," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 29-58, January.
    34. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
    35. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2004. "On The Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages 191-216, June.
    36. David Roodman, 2003. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-country Empirics—Revised July 2004," Working Papers 32, Center for Global Development.
    37. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    38. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-1038, October.
    39. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-183, May.
    40. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Axel Dreher & Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2008. "Does US aid buy UN general assembly votes? A disaggregated analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 139-164, July.
    2. Innocent .U. Duru & Bartholomew .O.N. Okafor & Millicent Adanne Eze & Gabriel .O. Ebenyi, 2020. "Foreign Aid and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria," Growth, Asian Online Journal Publishing Group, vol. 7(1), pages 35-50.
    3. Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2006. "Targeting Aid to the Needy and Deserving: Nothing But Promises?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(9), pages 1177-1201, September.
    4. Thiele, Rainer & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Dreher, Axel, 2006. "Sectoral aid priorities: Are donors really doing their best to achieve the millennium development goals?," Kiel Working Papers 1266, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Hassen Abda Wako, 2018. "Aid, institutions and economic growth in sub†Saharan Africa: Heterogeneous donors and heterogeneous responses," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 23-44, February.
    6. Hoda Abd El Hamid Ali, 2013. "Foreign Aid and Economic Growth in Egypt: A Cointegration Analysis," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 3(3), pages 743-751.
    7. Rainer Thiele & Peter Nunnenkamp & Axel Dreher, 2007. "Do Donors Target Aid in Line with the Millennium Development Goals? A Sector Perspective of Aid Allocation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 143(4), pages 596-630, December.
    8. Heng Hokmeng & Pahlaj Moolio, 2015. "The Impact of Foreign Aid on Economic Growth in Cambodia: A Co-integration Approach," KASBIT Business Journals (KBJ), Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT), vol. 8(1), pages 4-25, May.
    9. Liao, Hongwei & Chi, Yedi & Zhang, Jiarui, 2020. "Impact of international development aid on FDI along the Belt and Road," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    10. Philipp Harms & Michael Rauber, 2004. "Foreign aid and developing countries' creditworthiness," Working Papers 04.05, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    11. Derek Headey, 2005. "Foreign Aid and Foreign Policy: How donors undermine the effectiveness of overseas development assistance," CEPA Working Papers Series WP052005, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    12. repec:zbw:ifwkie:3881 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Rishav Bista, 2006. "Foreign aid policy and its growth effect in Nepal," EconoQuantum, Revista de Economia y Negocios, Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Economico Administrativas, Departamento de Metodos Cuantitativos y Maestria en Economia., vol. 3(1), pages 109-141, Julio - D.
    14. Wako, Hassen, 2011. "Effectiveness of foreign aid in sub-Saharan Africa: Does disaggregating aid into bilateral and multilateral components make a difference?," MPRA Paper 72617, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2012. "Aid, Growth and Devolution," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1723-1749.
    2. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 4415-4523, Elsevier.
    3. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2004. "On The Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages 191-216, June.
    4. Almuth Scholl, 2009. "Aid Effectiveness and Limited Enforceable Conditionality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(2), pages 377-391, April.
    5. Kilby, Christopher, 2005. "Aid and regulation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 325-345, May.
    6. Mark McGillivray, 2006. "Aid Allocation and Fragile States," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2006-01, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Ola Olsson, 0. "Windfall Gains, Political Economy and Economic Development," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(suppl_1), pages -109.
    8. 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).
    9. Kilby, Christopher, 2005. "World Bank lending and regulation," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 384-407, December.
    10. Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2009. "Aid, growth and decentralization," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 09/09, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    11. Philipp Harms & Matthias Lutz, 2003. "Aid, Governance, and Private Foreign Investment: Some Puzzling Findings and a Possible Explanation," Working Papers 03.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    12. Boriana Yontcheva & Mrs. Nadia Masud, 2005. "Does Foreign Aid Reduce Poverty? Empirical Evidence from Nongovernmental and Bilateral Aid," IMF Working Papers 2005/100, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Mark McGillivray, 2003. "Efficacité de l'aide et sélectivité : vers un concept élargi," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 11(4), pages 43-62.
    14. Keith Blackburn & Gonzalo F. Forgues-Puccio, 2011. "Foreign Aid - a Fillip for Development or a Fuel for Corruption?," CDMA Working Paper Series 201107, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    15. Angeles, Luis & Neanidis, Kyriakos C., 2009. "Aid effectiveness: the role of the local elite," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 120-134, September.
    16. Almuth Scholl, 2018. "Debt Relief for Poor Countries: Conditionality and Effectiveness," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 85(339), pages 626-648, July.
    17. Kyriakos C. Neanidis & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2005. "The Impact of Foreign Aid on Economic Growth: Volatility of Disbursements and Distribution of Receipts," Economics Discussion Paper Series 0533, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    18. Maruta, Admasu Asfaw & Banerjee, Rajabrata & Cavoli, Tony, 2020. "Foreign aid, institutional quality and economic growth: Evidence from the developing world," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 444-463.
    19. Museru, Malimu & Toerien, Francois & Gossel, Sean, 2014. "The Impact of Aid and Public Investment Volatility on Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 138-147.
    20. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    foreign aid; economic growth; institutions; governance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:usg:dp2004:2004-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vwasgch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joerg Baumberger (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vwasgch.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.