Journal Article

Bad neighbors? How co-located Chinese and World Bank development projects impact local corruption in Tanzania

Date Published

Mar 1, 2017


Samuel Brazys, Johan A. Elkink, Gina Kelly


The Review of International Organizations


Brazys, S., Elkink, J. A., & Kelly, G. (2017). Bad neighbors? How co-located Chinese and World Bank development projects impact local corruption in Tanzania. The Review of International Organizations, 12(2), 227-253. doi:10.1007/s11558-017-9273-4

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.


The rise of China as a "non-traditional" development partner has been one of the most important phenomena in the field over the past decade. The lack of transparency in Chinese development projects, coupled with an uninterested stance towards governance, lead many to wonder if Chinese engagement will contribute to or undermine existing development efforts. This paper adds to the debate by inquiring as to the relationship of Chinese development efforts with perceptions of, and experiences with, corruption when projects are closely-located to those from a traditional donor, the World Bank. Taking advantage of spatial data, the paper evidences an association between the location of a larger number of Chinese projects and higher experiences with and, to some extent, perceptions of corruption when accounting for co-located World Bank projects. Likewise, while World Bank projects are associated with lower levels of corruption in the absence of Chinese projects, this relationship disappears when Chinese projects are nearby. However, these relationships only hold for Chinese projects which are not "aid-like," suggesting that the differentiation of Chinese overseas flows is an important consideration when studying China as a development partner.

Featured Authors

Samuel Brazys

Samuel Brazys

Associate Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin

Related Datasets

No items found.

Related Events

No items found.