Chinese Development Assistance and Household Welfare in Sub-Saharan Africa
34 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 2019
We combine data on Chinese development projects with data from Demographic and Health Surveys to study the impact of Chinese aid on household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa. We use a novel methodology to test the effect of Chinese aid on three important development outcomes: education, health, and nutrition. For each outcome, we use difference-in-difference estimations to compare household areas near Chinese project sites to control areas located farther away, before and after receiving Chinese aid. This empirical strategy rules out many confounding factors that can bias measuring the impact of Chinese aid on our outcome variables. First, we find that Chinese projects significantly improve education and child mortality in treatment areas, but do not significantly affect nutrition. Second, social sector projects have a larger effect on outcomes than economic projects. Third, we do not find significant effects for projects that ended more than five years before the post-treatment survey wave. Our results are robust to a host of robustness checks.
Keywords: aid effectiveness; Chinese aid; household welfare; DHS; geocoded data
JEL Classification: F35, O19, R20
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