Who Gets the Goodies? Overlapping Interests and the Geography of Aid for Trade Allocation in Bangladesh
Jan 27, 2020
Samuel Brazys, Minhaj Mahmud, Arya Pillai
Samuel Brazys, Minhaj Mahmud, and Arya Pillai. 2020. Who Gets the Goodies? Overlapping Interests and the Geography of Aid for Trade Allocation in Bangladesh. AidData Working Paper #92. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.
Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the The Journal of Development Studies.
The Sustainable Development Goal principle of “leaving no one behind” has led to increased attention being paid to patterns of intra-country allocation of foreign aid. We contribute to these efforts by considering a particular type of foreign aid, Aid for Trade (AfT), to discern allocation objectives. We match a novel, geo-coded, dataset on over 11,000 Bangladeshi exporting firms to over one thousand AfT project locations in Bangladesh similarly geo-coded by AidData and expanded by ourselves. We use this data to employ spatial techniques that evaluate political economy logics of allocation, wherein AfT is functionally targeted towards exporting firms, is allocated based on prebendalism, and/or is directed to high poverty areas. Our analysis finds the strongest allocation patterns when all three logics are present. This suggests that allocation logics may not be either/or, but instead, that the subnational locating of aid is driven by multiple aims.