Gesture Politics or Real Commitment?

Gesture politics or real commitment? Gender inequality and the allocation of aid. UNU WIDER Working Paper No. 2013/079

39 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2013  

Kai Gehring

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy; University of Heidelberg

Axel Dreher

University of Heidelberg

Stephan Klasen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: August 01, 2013

Abstract

Donors of foreign aid increasingly claim to consider gender inequality in the recipient countries to be a serious concern. While aid specifically to promote gender equality receives only a tiny share of aid budgets, allocations to education, health, and civil society projects could be affected by gender inequality concerns. In this paper, we investigate whether donors indeed give more aid to countries with larger gender gaps ('need') in education, health, employment, or women’s rights, or rather reward improvements in those indicators ('merit').

We find some evidence that gender gaps in education and health affect the allocation of aid in those sectors and overall, while greater female political representation appears to be ‘rewarded’ with higher aid flows; employment gaps do not seem to affect the allocation of aid. Taking account of substantive and statistical significance, overall, there is modest evidence that gender gaps affect the allocation of aid in total and for particular sectors. The quantitative effects are rather small in size and differ by donor country (group) and donor as well as recipient characteristics.

Keywords: aid allocation, gender inequality, sector-specific aid, political economy, development, female empowerment

JEL Classification: F35, O11, O19

Suggested Citation

Gehring, Kai and Dreher, Axel and Klasen, Stephan, Gesture Politics or Real Commitment? (August 01, 2013). Gesture politics or real commitment? Gender inequality and the allocation of aid. UNU WIDER Working Paper No. 2013/079. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2371072 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2371072

Kai Gehring (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland
+4917620916056 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kai-gehring.net

University of Heidelberg ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

Axel Dreher

University of Heidelberg ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.axel-dreher.de

Stephan Klasen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany
+49-551-397303 (Phone)
+49-551-397302 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/klasen.html

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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