IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/3732.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Improving the dynamics of aid : towards more predictable budget support

Author

Listed:
  • Eifert, Benn
  • Gelb, Alan

Abstract

This paper considers approaches towards improving the predictability of aid to low income countries, with a special focus on budget support. In order to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, the donor community is increasing aid flows while pushing for more coordination and tighter performance-based selectivity. However, these factors may increase the unpredictability of aid from current levels, which are already high enough to impose significant costs. Predictability is a particular challenge in the area of budget support, which will continue to increase in importance as aid is sought to underpin longer-term recurrent spending commitments. Budget support reduces transactions costs and drains on capacity, but it tends to be more vulnerable to fluctuations than multi-year project support. Poor predictability raises the threat of a low-level equilibrium: countries, budgeting prudently within a medium-term fiscal framework, will discount commitments; donors will see few funding gaps, so pledges will fall. With some countries discounting aid commitments in formulating budgets, some already see signs of this happening. To improve predictability, donors must extend their funding horizons. However, even if this can be done, several major issues will remainat country level. First, how can countries deal with residual short-run volatility of disbursements relative to commitments? Second, can donors lengthen commitment horizons to individual developing countries without excessive risk of misallocating aid? Third, within a country's overall aid envelope, how should donors set the shares of project aid and budget support? Finally, the paper considers the other main approach to budget support, the output or outcome-driven approach of the European Union. The paper concludes that many of these issues can be addressed. Simple spending and savings rules built around a buffer reserve fund of 2-4 months of imports can help smooth public spending. Aid can be pre-committed several years ahead with only small efficiency losses, using a strategy of"flexible pre-commitment."Guidelines can be set to limit the volatility of budget support while keeping it performance-based, and past experience can be used more systematically to develop"outcome"norms to better guide aid allocation.

Suggested Citation

  • Eifert, Benn & Gelb, Alan, 2005. "Improving the dynamics of aid : towards more predictable budget support," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3732, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3732
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2006/05/01/000016406_20060501113110/Rendered/PDF/wps3732.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. St├ęphane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2003. "Leland & Pyle Meet Foreign Aid? Adverse Selection and the Procyclicality of Financial Aid Flows," Cahiers de recherche 0327, CIRPEE.
    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. Yongzheng Yang & Robert Powell & Sanjeev Gupta, 2005. "The Macroeconomic Challenges of Scaling Up Aid to Africa," IMF Working Papers 05/179, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Eifert, Benn & Gelb, Alan, 2008. "Reforming Aid: Toward More Predictable, Performance-Based Financing for Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2067-2081, October.
    3. Xavier Debrun & Peter S. Heller & Theo Thomas & Menachem Katz & Isabell Adenauer & Taline Koranchelian, 2006. "Making Fiscal Space Happen; Managing Fiscal Policy in a World of Scaled-Up Aid," IMF Working Papers 06/270, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Buffie, Edward F. & O'Connell, Stephen A. & Adam, Christopher, 2010. "Fiscal inertia, donor credibility, and the monetary management of aid surges," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 287-298, November.
    5. Hudson, John & Mosley, Paul, 2008. "Aid Volatility, Policy and Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2082-2102, October.
    6. James Boyce, 2007. "Public Finance, Aid and Post-Conflict Recovery," Working Papers wp140, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    7. Brian Levy, 2007. "Governance Reform : Bridging Monitoring and Action," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6742.
    8. James K. Boyce, 2007. "Public finance, aid and post-conflict recovery," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2007-09, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    9. Tingley, Dustin, 2010. "Donors and domestic politics: Political influences on foreign aid effort," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 40-49, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness; School Health; Economic Theory&Research; Markets and Market Access; Country Strategy&Performance;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:wbk:wbrwps:3732. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.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 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.

    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.