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Has International Aid Promoted Economic Growth in Africa?

Jinyang Cai, Zuting Zheng, Ruifa Hu, Carl E. Pray and Qianqian Shao

African Development Review, 2018, vol. 30, issue 3, 239-251

Abstract: Using panel data on 47 African countries from 1980–2013, this paper investigates the effects of aid on Africa's economic growth from the perspective of political stability. We find that international aid can promote economic growth in Africa, but the effectiveness of aid depends on countries’ political stability. Further, the intensity of aid affects its effectiveness. When the aid–GDP ratio is between 0 and 69 per cent, aid can promote economic growth in recipient countries, and when this ratio is 27 per cent, the marginal impact of aid on economic growth is maximized. The findings of this paper suggest that providers of aid should avoid providing a substantial amount of aid to countries at risk of political unrest, and they must determine the optimal scale of aid based on the economic development of recipient countries in order to enable aid to generate better results. Recipient countries should maintain social and political stability and ensure that they do not develop an excessive dependence on aid so that they can achieve the self‐sustainable development of their own economies.

Date: 2018
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