NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Aid on Growth: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment

Sebastian Galiani, Stephen Knack, Lixin Colin Xu, Ben Zou

NBER Working Paper No. 22164
Issued in April 2016
NBER Program(s):   DEV

The literature on aid and growth has not found a convincing instrumental variable to identify the causal effects of aid. This paper exploits an instrumental variable based on the fact that since 1987, eligibility for aid from the International Development Association (IDA) has been based partly on whether or not a country is below a certain threshold of per capita income. The paper finds evidence that other donors tend to reinforce rather than compensate for reductions in IDA aid following threshold crossings. Overall, aid as a share of gross national income (GNI) drops about 59 percent on average after countries cross the threshold. Focusing on the 35 countries that have crossed the income threshold from below between 1987 and 2010, a positive, statistically significant, and economically sizable effect of aid on growth is found. A one percentage point increase in the aid to GNI ratio from the sample mean raises annual real per capita growth in gross domestic product by approximately 0.35 percentage points.

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Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22164

Published: Sebastian Galiani & Stephen Knack & Lixin Colin Xu & Ben Zou, 2017. "The effect of aid on growth: evidence from a Quasi-experiment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 1-33, March. citation courtesy of

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