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Foreign Aid: An Instrument for Fighting Communism?

by Anders Olofsgård (with A. Boschini), published in Journal of Development Studies

In this paper, we test the argument that the sizeable reduction in aggregate aid levels in the 1990's was due to the end of the Cold War. We test two different models using a dynamic econometric specification on a panel of 17 donor countries, spanning the years 1970-1997. We find aid to be positively related to military expenditures in the former Eastern bloc during the cold war, but not in the 1990's, suggesting that the reductions in aid disbursements are driven by the disappearance of an important motive for aid. Our results also suggest that aid allocation may have become less strategic in the 1990's.

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