We analyze the growth impact of official development assistance to developing countries. Our approach is different from that of previous studies in two major ways. First, we disentangle the effects of two kinds of aid: developmental and non-developmental. Second, our specifications allow for the effect of aid on economic growth to occur over long periods. Our results indicate that developmental aid promotes long-run growth. The effect is significant, large and robust to different specifications and estimation techniques.
This paper discusses the Union of Comoros’ 2008 Article IV Consultation and request for Emergency Post-Conflict Assistance and disbursement under the Rapid-Access Component of the Exogenous Shocks Facility. Real GDP growth has been well below the regional average, and per-capita income has steadily declined. Rising food and energy costs have worsened the external position, and the external debt burden is far above the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries threshold. To reverse the deteriorating trend, the authorities have initiated measures in 2008 to contain the fiscal deficit and begin to address macroeconomic and structural impediments to growth.
The economic recovery in Côte d’Ivoire is crucial to growth throughout the subregion. The fiscal results and mobilized domestic financing enabled the authorities to make payments to the World Bank and AfDB and reduce domestic arrears. Reporting on quasi-fiscal cocoa levies has improved. Energy sector audits are being finalized, and reporting on financial flows has improved. In view of the efforts made at both political and economic management fronts, authorities appreciated the Executive Board’s support for an additional assistance under the IMF’s Emergency Post-Conflict Assistance (EPCA) program.
Danny Cassimon, Mr. Stijn Claessens, and Bjorn Van Campenhout
We study how 22 donors allocate their bilateral aid among 147 recipient countries over the 1970- 2004 period to investigate whether changes in the international aid architecture?at the international and country level?have led to changes in behavior. We find that after the fall of the Berlin wall, and especially in the late nineties, bilateral aid responds more to economic need and the quality of a recipient country's policy and institutional environment and less to debt, size, and colonial linkages. Importantly, we find that when a country uses a PRSP and passes the HIPC decision point the perverse effect of large bilateral and multilateral debt shares on aid flows is reduced, suggesting less defensive lending. Overall, it appears international aid architecture changes have led to more selectivity in aid allocations. The specific factors causing these changes remain unclear, however. Furthermore, there remain large differences among donors in selectivity that appear to relate to donors' own institutional environments. Together this suggests that further reforms will have to be multifaceted.
The staff report for the Use of Fund Resources—Request for Post-Conflict Emergency Assistance on the Central African Republic (CAR) focuses on the political situation and post-conflict economic recovery. The post-conflict economic recovery remains subdued. Fiscal reforms will focus on boosting revenue and containing expenditure. Revenue measures will center on tightening controls in tax administration and fighting fraud at customs. Reforms in the governance area are directed at fighting corruption mainly through enhanced transparency and strengthening the judiciary with a view to improving the management of public resources.
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, and Ms. Smita Wagh
The volume of foreign aid has increased during the last four decades, albeit with interruptions in certain years. Over time, the major recipients have changed: while the share of aid to Asia has diminished since the 1980s, that destined for sub-Saharan Africa has grown. There is some evidence that, since the late 1990s, debt relief has assumed a larger share of the increased aid flows to sub-Saharan Africa. The share of technical cooperation-a component of aid that is viewed as being driven by donors-has risen. More recently, there has been an increased emphasis on providing budget support to recipient governments, especially in the form of debt relief. Donor harmonization, national ownership of development plans, and sound policies on the part of the recipients are crucial for the aid to be effective in reducing poverty.
We examine the effects of aid on growth-- in cross-sectional and panel data--after correcting for the bias that aid typically goes to poorer countries, or to countries after poor performance. Even after this correction, we find little robust evidence of a positive (or negative) relationship between aid inflows into a country and its economic growth. We also find no evidence that aid works better in better policy or geographical environments, or that certain forms of aid work better than others. Our findings, which relate to the past, do not imply that aid cannot be beneficial in the future. But they do suggest that for aid to be effective in the future, the aid apparatus will have to be rethought. Our findings raise the question: what aspects of aid offset what ought to be the indisputable growth enhancing effects of resource transfers? Thus, our findings support efforts under way at national and international levels to understand and improve aid effectiveness.