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Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid

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  • Ouattara, Bazoumana
  • Amegashie, J. Atsu
  • Strobl, Eric

Abstract

The paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of a donor's choice of the composition of unrestricted and in-kind/restricted transfers to a recipient and how this composition is adjusted in response to changes in the moral hazard behavior of the recipient. In-kind or restricted transfers may be used, among others, to control a recipient's moral hazard behavior but may be associated with deadweight losses. Within the context of foreign aid, we use a canonical political agency model to construct a simple signaling game between a possibly corrupt politician in a recipient country and a donor to illustrate the donor's optimal choice of tied (restricted) and untied foreign aid. We clarify the condition under which a reduction in the recipient's moral hazard behavior (i.e., improvement in the level of governance) leads to a fall in the proportion of tied aid. We test the predictions of our theoretical analysis using data on the composition of foreign aid by multilateral and bilateral donors.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec09:24
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    2. Chi‐Chur Chao & Jean‐Pierre Laffargue & Pasquale M. Sgro, 2010. "Foreign Aid, Wage Inequality, and Welfare for a Small Open Economy with Tourism," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 454-464, August.
    3. Raschky, Paul A. & Schwindt, Manijeh, 2012. "On the channel and type of aid: The case of international disaster assistance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 119-131.
    4. Knack, Stephen & Smets, Lodewijk, 2013. "Aid Tying and Donor Fragmentation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 63-76.
    5. Tierney, Michael J. & Nielson, Daniel L. & Hawkins, Darren G. & Roberts, J. Timmons & Findley, Michael G. & Powers, Ryan M. & Parks, Bradley & Wilson, Sven E. & Hicks, Robert L., 2011. "More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 1891-1906.
    6. Paul A. Raschky & Manijeh Schwindt, 2009. "On the Channel and Type of International Disaster Aid," Working Papers 2009-16, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    7. Gaoussou Diarra, 2011. "Aid unpredictability and absorptive capacity: analyzing disbursement delays in Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 1004-1017.
    8. David Zetland, 2010. "Save the poor, shoot some bankers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 331-337, December.
    9. Annen Kurt & Kosempel Stephen, 2009. "Foreign Aid, Donor Fragmentation, and Economic Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-32, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Moral Hazard; Foreign Aid; Panel Data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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