The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The econometric literature has been unable to establish a robust association between foreign aid and growth and poverty reduction. In this paper we argue that aid effectiveness must be assessed using methods that go beyond cross-country regressions. We calibrate a dynamic general equilibrium model that is capable of generating large income gaps between rich and poor countries. The model quantifies three sources of poverty: (i) lack of access to international capital, (ii) low schooling and high fertility (a poverty trap), and (iii) antigrowth domestic fiscal policy. We analyze policies designed to address each source of poverty and estimate and compare the aid cost of implementing the different policies. The policies differ dramatically in the extent and timing of their growth effects, and in the aid cost of their implementation.