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Development aid and its impact on poverty reduction in developing countries: A dynamic panel data approach

Edmore Mahembe and Nicholas Odhiambo ()

International Journal of Development Issues, 2020, vol. 19, issue 2, 145-168

Abstract: Purpose - This paper aims to assess whether official development assistance (ODA) or foreign aid has been effective in reducing extreme poverty; test whether the type and source of aid matter; and examine whether political or economic freedom enhances aid effectiveness in developing countries. Design/methodology/approach - The study uses recent dynamic panel estimation techniques (system generalised method of moments), including those methods which deal with endogeneity by controlling for simultaneity and unobserved heterogeneity. Findings - The main findings of the study are: firstly, foreign aid does have a statistically significant poverty reduction effect and the results are consistent across all the three extreme poverty proxies. Secondly, the disaggregation of aid by source and type shows that total aid, grant and bilateral aid are more likely to reduce poverty. Thirdly, political freedom might not be an effective channel through which aid impacts extreme poverty, but aid is more effective in an environment where there is respect for freedom of enterprise. Research limitations/implications - As with most cross-country aid–growth–poverty dynamic panel data studies, the challenges of establishing robust causality and accounting for the unobserved country-specific heterogeneity remain apparent. However, given the data availability constraints, generalised method of moments is, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, the most robust empirical strategy when T

Keywords: Poverty; Economic freedom; Democracy; Foreign aid; Official development assistance; System generalised method of moments (SGMM) estimators; F35; I32; C23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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