Doing Well by Doing Good: The Impact of Foreign Aid on Foreign Public Opinion
Benjamin E. Goldsmith
University of Sydney
Dartmouth College - Department of Government
Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy
January 31, 2014
Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming
Does foreign aid extended by one country improve that country’s image among populations of recipient countries? Using a multinational survey, we show that a United States aid program targeted to address HIV and AIDS substantially improves perceptions of the U.S. Our identification strategy for causal inference is to use instrumental variables measuring the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS problem in aid recipient countries. Our finding implies that in addition to its potential humanitarian benefits, foreign aid that is targeted, sustained, effective, and visible can serve an important strategic goal for those countries that give it: fostering positive perceptions among foreign publics. By doing good, a country can do well.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: foreign aid, U.S. foreign policy, HIV, AIDS, PEPFAR, public opinion, instrumental variables
JEL Classification: A12, F35, I18, O55Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 1, 2013 ; Last revised: February 11, 2014
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