On Aid, Growth and Good Policies

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Original Publication Date

March 29, 2010


Carl-Johan Dalgaard, Henrik Hansen


Journal of Development Studies


This study provides a critical analysis of the growth regressions in Burnside and Dollar [2000]. First, we analyze the relationship between aid and government expenditure in a modified neo-classical growth model. One of the main results of the analysis is that while good policies spur growths they may at the same time reduce the effectiveness of foreign aid. Second, we show that the econometric results in Burnside and Dollar emphasizing the crucial role of interaction between aid and good policies in the growth process are fragile, as they are extremely data dependent. Finally, we demonstrate that the Burnside and Dollar data lend support to the idea that the association between aid and growth can be approximated by decreasing returns to aid. This finding conforms well to regression results in other recent studies.