Journal Article

Tracking Underreported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid–Conflict Nexus Revisited

Date Published

May 1, 2017

Authors

Austin M. Strange, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney

Publisher

Citation

Strange, A.M., Dreher, A., Fuchs, A., Parks, B., and Tierney, M.J. 2017. Tracking Underreported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid–Conflict Nexus Revisited. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 61(5), 935-963.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as a working paper.

Announcement

China’s provision of development finance to other countries is sizable but reliable
information is scarce. We introduce a new open-source methodology (
) for collecting
project-level development finance information and create a database of Chinese
official finance (OF) to Africa from 2000 to 2011 (

We find that China’s commitments
amounted to approximately US$73 billion, of which US$15 billion are comparable to
Official Development Assistance following Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development definitions. We provide details on 1,511 projects to fifty African
countries. We use this database to extend previous research on aid and conflict,
which suffers from omitted-variable bias due to the exclusion of Chinese development
finance. Our results show that sudden withdrawals of ‘‘traditional’’ aid no
longer induce conflict in the presence of sufficient alternative funding from China.
Our findings highlight the importance of gathering more complete data on the
development activities of ‘‘nontraditional donors’’ to better understand the link
between aid and conflict. We provide our replication package for this article at

An earlier version of this article, China's Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection, is available as a working paper from the Center for Global Development.

Funding: This research was made possible in part by funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs are grateful for generous support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the framework of the project “Foreign Aid of Emerging Donors and International Politics” at Heidelberg University (DR 640/4-1).

Austin Strange

Austin Strange

Ph.D. Candidate in Government at Harvard University

Axel Dreher

Axel Dreher

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

Andreas Fuchs

Andreas Fuchs

Senior Researcher at the Alfred-Weber-Institute for Economics at Heidelberg University

Bradley C. Parks

Bradley C. Parks

Executive Director

Mike Tierney

Mike Tierney

Co-Director of the Global Research Institute and Hylton Professor of Government and International Relations at the College of William & Mary

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