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Aid dependence and the quality of governance : a cross-country empirical analysis

Author

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  • Knack, Stephen

Abstract

Good governance -- in the form of institutions that establish predictable, impartial, and consistently enforced rules for investors -- is crucial for the sustained and rapid growthof per capita incomes in poor countries. Aid dependence can undermine institutional quality by weakening accountability, encouraging rent seeking and corruption, fomenting conflict over control of aid funds, siphoning off scarce talent from the bureaucracy, and alleviating pressures to reform inefficient policies and institutions. The author's analyses of cross-country data provide evidence that higher aid levels erode the quality of governance, as measured by indexes of bureaucratic quality, corruption, and the rule of law. This negative relationship strengthens when instruments for aid are used to correct for potential reverse causality. It is robust to changes in the sample and to several alternative forms of estimation. Recent studies have concluded that aid's impact on economic growth and infant mortality is conditional on policy and institutional gaps. The author's results indicate that the size of the institutional gap itself increases with aid levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Aid dependence and the quality of governance : a cross-country empirical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2396, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2396
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
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    5. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
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    8. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 1997. "Why Don't Poor Countries Catch Up? A Cross-National Test of Institutional Explanation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 590-602, July.
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    11. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ojiambo Elphas & Jacob Oduor & Mburu Tom & Wawire Nelson, 2015. "Working Paper 226 - Aid Unpredictability and Economic Growth in Kenya," Working Paper Series 2169, African Development Bank.
    3. Congdon Fors, Heather & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "Endogenous institutional change after independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1896-1921, November.
    4. Tim Harford & Michael Klein, 2005. "Aid and the Resource Curse : How Can Aid Be Designed to Preserve Institutions?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11223, The World Bank.
    5. Tim Harford & Michael Klien, 2005. "The Future of Aid 2 : The Big Push," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11228, The World Bank.
    6. Ghosh Banerjee, Sudeshna & Rondinelli, Dennis A., 2003. "Does Foreign Aid Promote Privatization? Empirical Evidence from Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1527-1548, September.
    7. Minoiu, Camelia & Reddy, Sanjay G., 2010. "Development aid and economic growth: A positive long-run relation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 27-39, February.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Kleptocracy and Divide-and-Rule: A Model of Personal Rule," NBER Working Papers 10136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Sudeshna Ghosh Banerjee & Michael C. Munger, 2004. "Move to markets? An empirical analysis of privatization in developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 213-240.
    10. Cogneau, Denis & Naudet, Jean-David, 2007. "Who Deserves Aid? Equality of Opportunity, International Aid, and Poverty Reduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 104-120, January.
    11. Papaioannou, Elias, 2009. "What drives international financial flows? Politics, institutions and other determinants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 269-281, March.
    12. Feeny, Simon & de Silva, Ashton, 2012. "Measuring absorptive capacity constraints to foreign aid," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 725-733.
    13. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Power to the People? The Impact of Decentralization on Governance," KOF Working papers 06-121, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    14. Godfrey, Martin & Sophal, Chan & Kato, Toshiyasu & Vou Piseth, Long & Dorina, Pon & Saravy, Tep & Savora, Tia & Sovannarith, So, 2002. "Technical Assistance and Capacity Development in an Aid-dependent Economy: The Experience of Cambodia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 355-373, March.
    15. Taylor Fahy Winkleman & Grace Bagwell Adams, 2017. "An empirical assessment of the relationship between Official Development Aid and child mortality, 2000–2015," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 62(2), pages 231-240, March.
    16. Andrews, Matt, 2013. "Do International Organizations Really Shape Government Solutions in Developing Countries?," Working Paper Series rwp13-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    17. Raj M. Desai & Lev M. Freinkman & Itzhak Goldberg, 2003. "Fiscal federalism and regional growth : evidence from the Russian Federation in the 1990s," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3138, The World Bank.

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