Chinese aid and local political attitudes
Yanjun Li and
Economic Modelling, 2022, vol. 113, issue C
This paper investigates whether and how foreign aid generates pro-authority attitudes in recipient regions. With a retrospection to the literature on the soft-power implications of aid, through which donors seek to cultivate specific values, this paper contributes to the investigation of the mechanisms behind the correlation. Combining a geo-referenced dataset on Chinese aid projects obtained from AidData with the political attitudes of residents from four World Value Survey waves across 526 sub-national regions in 47 developing countries, we use a difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) type of approach and an instrumental variable (IV) method to address the endogeneity issues. We show that Chinese infrastructure aid significantly motivated a positive attitude toward several organs of government in the regions where the aid was implemented. The main channels of this effect are improved welfare and increased affinity for the values espoused by Chinese donors, occurring through the interaction between residents in the aid-receiving regions and Chinese enterprises and their employees dispatched to these regions.
Keywords: Political attitudes; Beliefs; Chinese aid; Official financial assistance; Soft power; AidData; Developing countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D70 O10 O50 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:113:y:2022:i:c:s0264999322001390
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