Aid and economic growth: Sensitivity analysis


  • We thank Elizabeth Asiedu for helpful comments and for providing the ICRG and cpia data sets. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the CSAE Annual Conference, Oxford University, March 2007. We thank participants and an anonymous referee of this Journal for helpful comments. David Klinowski and Richard Robinson provided outstanding research assistance. Any remaining errors are, of course, ours.


This paper uses panel data from 77 developing countries, two measures of aid, and a dynamic panel data (DPD) estimator to investigate the effects of aid on economic growth. We find that the relationship between income growth and aid is quadratic in nature. We find a negative partial growth effect of aid at low levels of aid but a positive effect when the ratio of aid to gross national income (GNI) reaches a threshold of between 6.6 and 14.4per cent. We find a positive and significant relationship between aid and physical capital investment. Accounting for indirect effects through investment, we find a positive growth effect at all levels of aid. These results are robust to the measurement of aid, the policy environment, income levels and region. Our results differ from much of the earlier research but are consistent with research that calls for increased aid to developing countries. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.