Can Foreign Aid Accelerate Stabilization?
NBER Working Paper No. 4694
This paper studies the effect of foreign aid on economic stabilization. Following Alesina and Drazen (1991), we model the delay in stabilizing as the result of a distributional struggle: reforms are postponed because they are costly and each distributional faction hopes to reduce its share of the cost by outlasting its opponents in obstructing the required policies. Since the delay is used to signal each faction's strength, the effect of the transfer depends on the role it plays in the release of information. We show that this role depends on the timing of the transfer: foreign aid decided and transferred sufficiently early into the game leads to earlier stabilization; but aid decided or transferred too late is destabilizing and encourages further postponement of reforms.
Published: Economic Journal, June 1996