Globalism: Do elites capture foreign aid?

Abstract: Policy Research Working Paper 9150

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This paper documents that aid disbursements to highly aid-dependent countries coincide with sharp increases in bank deposits in offshore financial centers known for bank secrecy and private wealth management, but not in other financial centers. The estimates are not confounded by contemporaneous shocks such as civil conflicts, natural disasters, and financial crises, and are robust to instrumenting with predetermined aid commitments. The implied leakage rate is around 7.5 percent at the sample mean and tends to increase with the ratio of aid to GDP. The findings are consistent with aid capture in the most aid-dependent countries.

The Policy Research Working Paper Series disseminates the findings of work in progress to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues. An objective of the series is to get the findings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. The papers carry the names of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or those of the Executive Directors of the World Bank or the governments they represent.


This paper is a product of the Development Research Group, Development Economics. It is part of a larger effort by the World Bank to provide open access to its research and make a contribution to development policy discussions around the world. Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at http://www.worldbank.org/prwp.

 

The authors may be contacted at niels.johannesen@econ.ku.dk, brijkers@worldbank.org, and jorgen.j.andersen@bi.no.

Original Policy Research Working Paper 9150

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