Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle
CREFE Research Paper No. 63
Posted: 19 Sep 1998
We document the real business cycle properties of foreign aid to poor countries. We show that aid exhibits the following empirical regularities over a twenty-five year period. First, it represents a significant source of income for the recipients. Second, it is very volatile--two to three times as volatile as output. Third, for the vast majority of recipient countries in our sample, aid disbursements are procyclical. Whatever the intended purpose of aid, this procyclicality suggests that aid ends up acting as a reward (punishment) for good (bad) economic performance. In contrast, there is no clear pattern of procyclicality with the business cycle of the donors.
JEL Classification: E32, F35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation