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Aid tying and donor fragmentation

  • Knack, Stephen
  • Smets, Lodewijk

This study tests two opposing hypotheses about the impact of aid fragmentation on the practice of aid tying. In one, when a small number of donors dominate the aid market in a country, they may exploit their monopoly power by tying more aid to purchases from contractors based in their own countries. Alternatively, when donors have a larger share of the aid market, they may have stronger incentives to maximize the development impact of their aid by tying less of it. Empirical tests strongly and consistently support the latter hypothesis. The key finding -- that higher donor aid shares are associated with less aid tying -- is robust to recipient controls, donor fixed effects and instrumental variables estimation. When recipient countries are grouped by their scores on corruption perception indexes, higher shares of aid are significantly related to lower aid tying only in the less-corrupt sub-sample. This finding is consistent with the argument that aid tying can be an efficient response by donors when losses from corruption may rival or exceed losses from tying aid. When aid tying is more costly, as proxied by donor country size and income, it is less prevalent. Aid tying is lower in the Least Developed Countries, consistent with the OECD Development Assistance Committee's recommendation to its members.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5934.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5934
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  1. Arnab Acharya & Ana Teresa Fuzzo de Lima & Mick Moore, 2006. "Proliferation and fragmentation: Transactions costs and the value of aid," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 1-21.
  2. Knack, Stephen & Rogers, F. Halsey & Eubank, Nicholas, 2010. "Aid quality and donor rankings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5290, The World Bank.
  3. Emmanuel Frot & Javier Santiso, 2010. "Crushed Aid: Fragmentation in Sectoral Aid," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 284, OECD Publishing.
  4. Gibson, Clark C. & Andersson, Krister & Ostrom, The late Elinor & Shivakumar, Sujai, 2005. "The Samaritan's Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278855.
  5. William Easterly, 2002. "The cartel of good intentions: The problem of bureaucracy in foreign aid," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 223-250.
  6. Anderson, Edward, 2012. "Aid fragmentation and donor transaction costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 799-802.
  7. Easterly, William & Williamson, Claudia R., 2011. "Rhetoric versus Reality: The Best and Worst of Aid Agency Practices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 1930-1949.
  8. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Emmanuel Frot & Javier Santiso, 2008. "Development Aid and Portfolio Funds: Trends, Volatility and Fragmentation," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 275, OECD Publishing.
  10. Peter Kragelund, 2008. "The Return of Non-DAC Donors to Africa: New Prospects for African Development?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 26(5), pages 555-584, 09.
  11. Martens,Bertin & Mummert,Uwe & Murrell,Peter & Seabright,Paul, 2008. "The Institutional Economics of Foreign Aid," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521055390.
  12. Ouattara, Bazoumana & Amegashie, J. Atsu & Strobl, Eric, 2009. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 24, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  13. Djankov, Simeon & Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2009. "Aid with multiple personalities," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 217-229, June.
  14. KIMURA Hidemi & SAWADA Yasuyuki & MORI Yuko, 2007. "Aid Proliferation and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis," Discussion papers 07044, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  15. Knack, Stephen & Rahman, Aminur, 2007. "Donor fragmentation and bureaucratic quality in aid recipients," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 176-197, May.
  16. Andrew Rogerson, 2005. "Aid Harmonisation and Alignment: Bridging the Gaps between Reality and the Paris Reform Agenda," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 23(5), pages 531-552, 09.
  17. Oecd, 2009. "2009 OECD Report on Division of Labour," OECD Journal on Development, OECD Publishing, vol. 10(4), pages 7-58.
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