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How Do Political Changes Influence U.S. Bilateral Aid Allocations? Evidence from Panel Data

This paper examines the role of U.S. domestic politics in the allocation of foreign aid using panel data on aid to 119 countries from 1960 to 1997. Employing proxies for four aid allocation criteria (development concerns, strategic importance, commercial importance, and the degree of democratization), we find evidence that each influences aid allocation, although the evidence is stronger for some criteria (development concerns, commercial importance) than for others (strategic importance, degree of democratization). Furthermore, the allocation pattern depends on the composition of the U.S. government. When the president and Congress are liberal, development concerns receive more weight in the allocation process than when the president and/or Congress are more conservative. When the Congress is more conservative, commercial concerns have more weight than when the Congress is liberal. These findings have practical importance in light of current attempts to overhaul the allocation of both bilateral and multilateral aid.

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File URL: http://irving.vassar.edu/VCEWP/VCEWP67.pdf
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Paper provided by Vassar College Department of Economics in its series Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series with number 67.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:vas:papers:67
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Web page: http://irving.vassar.edu/VCEWP/VCEWP.htm

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  1. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  2. Axel Dreher & Nathan Jensen, 2005. "Independent Actor or Agent? An Empirical Analysis of the impact of US interests on IMF Conditions," KOF Working papers 05-118, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Robert K. Fleck & Christopher Kilby, 2001. "Foreign Aid and Domestic Politics: Voting in Congress and the Allocation of USAID Contracts across Congressional Districts," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 598-617, January.
  6. Dudley, Leonard & Montmarquette, Claude, 1976. "A Model of the Supply of Bilateral Foreign Aid," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 132-42, March.
  7. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
  8. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2000. "Aid and Growth Regressions," MPRA Paper 62288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Weder, Beatrice, 2002. "Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?," Scholarly Articles 4553011, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Henrik Hansen & Thomas Markussen, 2004. "US Politics and World Bank IDA-Lending," Discussion Papers 05-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised May 2005.
  11. Frey, Bruno S. & Schneider, Friedrich, 1986. "Competing models of international lending activity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 225-245, March.
  12. Gang, Ira N. & Lehman, James A., 1990. "New directions or not: USAID in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 723-732, May.
  13. Anne Boschini & Anders Olofsg�rd, 2007. "Foreign aid: An instrument for fighting communism?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 622-648.
  14. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  15. Robert K. Fleck & Christopher Kilby, 2006. "World Bank Independence: A Model and Statistical Analysis of US Influence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 224-240, 05.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521848053 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Ball, Richard & Johnson, Christopher, 1996. "Political, Economic, and Humanitarian Motivations for PL 480 Food Aid: Evidence from Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 515-37, April.
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