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Aid, policies, and growth

Author

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  • Burnside, Craig
  • Dollar, David

Abstract

The authors of this paper use a new database on foreign aid to examine the relationships among foreign aid, economic policies, and growth of per capita GDP. In panel growth regressions for 56 developing countries and 6 four-year periods (1970-93), they find that the policies that have a great effect on growth are those related to fiscal surplus, inflation, and trade openness. They construct an index for those three policies and have that index interact with foreign aid. They have instruments for both aid and aid interacting with policies. They find that aid has a positive impact on growth in developing countries with good fiscal, monetary and trade policies. In the presence of poor policies, aid has no positive effect on growth. This result is robust in a variety of specifications, which include or exclude middle-income countries, include or exclude outliers, and treat policies as exogenous or endogenous. They examine the determinants of policy and find no evidence that aid has systematically affected policies, either for good or for ill. They estimate an aid allocation equation and show that any tendency for aid to reward good policies has been overwhelmed by donors'pursuit of their own strategic interests. In a counterfactual, they reallocate aid, reduce the role of donor interests and increasing the importance of policy. Such a reallocation would have a large positive effect on developing countries'growth rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1777
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender and Development; Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness; Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; School Health; Achieving Shared Growth; Governance Indicators; Inequality; Economic Theory&Research; Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development

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