Journal Article
Modelling Aid Allocation

Issues, Approaches and Results

There is a widespread view that political criteria have received less emphasis in aid allocation since the end of the cold war, with a greater share of aid subsequently being based on developmental criteria. An observed increase in aid effectiveness is attributed to this shift. A reasonably large literature on aid allocation supports this view: a number of influential, widely cited studies conclude that developmental criteria played no role in the 1970s and 1980s inter-recipient aid allocation. This paper argues that the shift is not as significant as commonly thought. It points to a number of methodological weaknesses in the dominant modelling approach used within the literature, showing that more rigorous econometric methods suggest that developmental criteria have had a larger influence on cold war period aid allocation than previously thought. An alternative interpretation of the observed increase in aid effectiveness is provided.

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