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Global Samaritans? Donor Election Cycles and the Allocation of Humanitarian Aid

Kurt Annen and Scott Strickland ()
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Scott Strickland: Ministry of Community and Social Services, Government of Ontario

No 1607, Working Papers from University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance

Abstract: This paper finds a large causal donor election cycle effect in humanitarian aid allocations: On average, humanitarian aid increases by 54% in the year before elections. Our identifcation strategy consists of focusing on donors with fixed election dates, making elections clearly exogenous. Furthermore, we find large interaction effects with natural and human disasters. This evidence is consistent with our theory that incumbent governments responding to humanitarian disasters can increase voter support for their party and insure against the political fall-out of not being seen as representatives of a country with global interests and influence. However, it is important to stress that despite our findings, human and natural disasters explain a substantially larger share of the overall variation in humanitarian aid observed in the data.

Keywords: Humanitarian aid; election cycles; aid allocation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 F35 H5 O19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2016
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-dev and nep-pol
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Journal Article: Global samaritans? Donor election cycles and the allocation of humanitarian aid (2017) Downloads
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