Journal Article

Chinese aid and health at the country and local level

Date Published

Mar 21, 2021


John Cruzatti, Axel Dreher, Johannes Matzat


World Development


Cruzatti, J. C., Dreher, A. and J. Matzat. 2023. Chinese aid and health at the country and local level. World Development, Volume 167, 106214, ISSN 0305-750X,

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


We investigate whether and to what extent Chinese development finance affects infant mortality, combining 92 demographic and health surveys (DHS) for a maximum of 53 countries and almost 55,000 sub-national locations over the 2002–2014 period. Our results show that Chinese aid decreases infant mortality at the country level. Relative to the country average, aid however increases infant mortality at sub-national scales. In several tests, we show that this stark contrast likely results from aid being fungible within recipient countries.

Featured Authors

Axel Dreher

Axel Dreher

Professor of Economics and Chair of International and Development Politics at Heidelberg University

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