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Aid, Governance, and Private Foreign Investment: Some Puzzling Findings and a Possible Explanation

  • Harms, Philipp
  • Lutz, Matthias

Does official aid pave the road for private foreign investment or does it suffocate private initiative by diverting resources towards unproductive activities? In this paper we explore this question using data for a large number of developing and emerging economies. Controlling for countries? institutional environment, we find that, evaluated at the mean, the marginal effect of aid on private foreign investment is close to zero. Surprisingly, however, the effect is strictly positive for countries in which private agents face a substantial regulatory burden. After testing the robustness of this result, we offer a theoretical model that is able to rationalize our puzzling observation.

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Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 246.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26128
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  2. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, February.
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  13. Dollar, David & Easterly, William, 1999. "The Search for the Key: Aid, Investment and Policies in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(4), pages 546-77, December.
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