Aid and Democratization in the Transition Economies

22 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2010

See all articles by Jac C. Heckelman

Jac C. Heckelman

Wake Forest University - Department of Economics


Past studies have not been supportive of the ability for foreign aid to create increased development and market liberalization. Less attention has been devoted to investigating the role aid has played in fostering democratic institutions. For a sample of 26 nations in Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics, I find more aid per capita is strongly associated with democratic reforms, but less robust is the relationship for aid as a percentage of gross national income. When analyzing various types of democratic freedoms, it appears both measures of aid improve the categories of judicial framework and governance, and aid per capita is also positively correlated with improvements in civil society and electoral process, but aid does not lead to more media independence.

Suggested Citation

Heckelman, Jac C., Aid and Democratization in the Transition Economies. Kyklos, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 558-579, November 2010, Available at SSRN: or

Jac C. Heckelman (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7505
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States
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