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Fungibility and the flypaper effect of project aid : micro-evidence for Vietnam

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  • van de Walle, Dominique
  • Ren Mu

Abstract

While most economists assume that aid is fungible, most aid donors behave as if it is not. The authors study recipient government responses to development project aid in the context of a specific World Bank-financed project. They estimate the impact of a rural road rehabilitation project in Vietnam on the kilometers of roads actually rehabilitated and built. Using local-level survey data collected for this purpose, the authors test whether the evidence supports the standard economic argument that there will be little or no impact on rural roads rehabilitated, given fungibility. They find evidence that, although project aid impacts on rehabilitated road kilometers were less than intended, more roads were built in project areas. The results suggest that there was fungibility within the sector, but that aid largely stuck to that sector.

Suggested Citation

  • van de Walle, Dominique & Ren Mu, 2007. "Fungibility and the flypaper effect of project aid : micro-evidence for Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4133, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roemer, John E & Silvestre, Joaquim, 2002. " The "Flypaper Effect" Is Not an Anomaly," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17.
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    3. Pack, Howard & Pack, Janet Rothenberg, 1990. "Is Foreign Aid Fungible? The Case of Indonesia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 188-194, March.
    4. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1161-1189.
    5. Pack, Howard & Pack, Janet Rothenberg, 1993. "Foreign Aid and the Question of Fungibility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 258-265, May.
    6. Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    7. Khilji, Nasir M. & Zampelli, Ernest M., 1994. "The fungibility of U.S. military and non-military assistance and the impacts on expenditures of major aid recipients," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 345-362, April.
    8. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
    9. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 4-29.
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    11. 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.
    12. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
    13. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Rural Roads&Transport; Rural Transport; Roads&Highways; Housing&Human Habitats;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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