Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Aid Is Not Oil: Donor Utility, Heterogeneous Aid, and the Aid-Democratization Relationship

  • Sarah Blodgett Bermeo
Abstract

Recent articles conclude that foreign aid, like other nontax resources, inhibits political change in authoritarian regimes. This article challenges both the negative political effects of aid and the similarity of aid to other resources. It develops a model incorporating changing donor preferences and the heterogeneity of foreign aid. Consistent with the model's predictions, an empirical test for the period 1973–2010 shows that, on average, the negative relationship between aid and the likelihood of democratic change is confined to the Cold War period. However, in the post–Cold War period, nondemocratic recipients of particular strategic importance can still use aid to thwart change. The relationship between oil revenue and democratic change does not follow the same pattern over time or across recipients. This supports the conclusion that aid has different properties than other, fungible, resources.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Aid Is Not Oil: Donor Utility, Heterogeneous Aid, and the Aid-Democratization Relationship
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Aid Is Not Oil: Donor Utility, Heterogeneous Aid, and the Aid-Democratization Relationship
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Aid Is Not Oil: Donor Utility, Heterogeneous Aid, and the Aid-Democratization Relationship
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Abdih, Yasser, Chami, Ralph, and Dagher, Jihad. 2012. Remittances and Institutions: Are Remittances a Curse? World Development 40 (4):657–66.
Acemoglu, Daron, Johnson, Simon, Robinson, James A., and Yared, Pierre. 2008. Income and Democracy. American Economic Review 98 (3):808–42.
Ahmed, Faisal. 2012. The Perils of Unearned Income: Aid, Remittances, and Government Survival. American Political Science Review 106 (1):146–65.
Ai, Chunrong, and Norton, Edward C.. 2003. Interaction Terms in Logit and Probit Models. Economics Letters 80:123–29.
Bearce, David H., and Tirone, Daniel C.. 2010. Foreign Aid Effectiveness and the Strategic Goals of Donor Governments. Journal of Politics 72 (3):837–51.
Beck, Nathaniel. 2011. Is OLS with a Binary Dependent Variable Really OK? Estimating (Mostly) TSCS Models with Binary Dependent Variables and Fixed Effects. Unpublished manuscript, New York University, New York.
Beck, Nathaniel, and Katz, Jonathan N.. 2001. Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water: A Comment on Green, Kim, and Yoon. International Organization 55(2):487–95.
Beck, Thorsten, George, Clarke, Groff, Alberto, Keefer, Philip, and Walsh, Patrick. 2001. New Tools in Comparative Political Economy: The Database of Political Institutions. World Bank Economic Review 15(1):165–76.
Bermeo, Sarah Blodgett. 2010. Development and Strategy: Aid Allocation in an Interdependent World. Manuscript, Duke University, Durham, NC.
Bermeo, Sarah Blodgett. 2011. Foreign Aid and Regime Change: A Role for Donor Intent. World Development 39 (11):2021–31.
Boix, Carles. 2003. Democracy and Redistribution. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Brautigam, Deborah A., and Knack, Stephen. 2004. Foreign Aid, Institutions, and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic Development and Cultural Change 52:255–85.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, and Smith, Alastair. 2009. A Political Economy of Aid. International Organization 63 (2):309–40.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, and Smith, Alastair. 2010. Leader Survival, Revolutions, and the Nature of Government Finance. American Journal of Political Science 54 (4):936–50.
Carter, David B., and Curtis S., Signorino. 2010. Back to the Future: Modeling Time Dependence in Binary Data. Political Analysis 18(3):271–92.
Carter, David B., and Stone, Randall W.. 2015. Democracy and Multilateralism: The Case of Vote Buying in the UN General Assembly. International Organization 69 (1):133.
Clemens, Michael, Radelet, Steven, Bhavnani, Rikhil, and Bazzi, Samuel. 2012. Counting Chickens When They Hatch: Timing and the Effects of Aid on Growth. Economic Journal 122 (561):590–17.
Collier, Paul. 2006. Is Aid Oil? An Analysis of Whether Africa Can Absorb More Aid. World Development 34(9):1482–97.
Dietrich, Simone. 2013. Bypass or Engage? Explaining Donor Delivery Tactics in Aid Allocation. International Studies Quarterly 57 (4):698712.
Djankov, Simeon, Montalvo, Jose G., and Reynal-Querol, Marta. 2008. The Curse of Aid. Journal of Economic Growth 13:169–94.
Dunning, Thad. 2004. Conditioning the Effects of Aid: Cold War Politics, Donor Credibility, and Democracy in Africa. International Organization 58:409–23.
Dunning, Thad. 2008. Crude Democracy: Natural Resource Wealth and Political Regimes. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Easterly, Bill. 2006. Is Foreign Aid Working? Prospect Magazine, 19 October 2006.
Epstein, David L., Bates, Robert, Goldstone, Jack, Kristensen, Ida, and O'Halloran, Sharyn. 2006. Democratic Transitions. American Journal of Political Science 50 (3):551–69.
Feyzioglu, Tarhan, Swaroop, Vinaya, and Zhu, Min. 1998. A Panel Data Analysis of the Fungibility of Foreign Aid. World Bank Economic Review 12 (1):2958.
Finkel, Steven E., Perez-Linan, Anibal, and Seligson, Mitchell A.. 2007. The Effects of US Foreign Assistance on Democracy Building, 1990–2003. World Politics 59 (3):404–39.
House, Freedom. 2011. Freedom in the World. Available at https://freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-world. Accessed 12 March 2011.
Geddes, Barbara, Wright, Joseph, and Frantz, Erica. 2014. Autocratic Breakdown and Regime Transitions. Perspectives on Politics 12 (2):313–31.
Goemans, Henk E., Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede, and Chiozza, Giacomo. 2009. Introducing Archigos: A Dataset of Political Leaders. Journal of Peace Research 46 (2):269–83.
Goldberg, Ellis, Mvukiyehe, Eric, and Wibbels, Erik. 2008. Lessons from Strange Cases: Democracy, Development, and the Resource Curse in the US States. Comparative Political Studies 41:477514.
Greene, William. 2010. Testing Hypotheses About Interaction Terms in Nonlinear Models. Economics Letters 107:291–96.
Haber, Stephen, and Menaldo, Victor. 2011. Do Natural Resources Fuel Authoritarianism? A Reappraisal of the Resource Curse. American Political Science Review 105 (1):126.
Heston, Alan, Summers, Robert, and Aten, Bettina. 2012. Penn World Table Version 7.1. Center for International Comparisons of Production, Income and Prices at the University of Pennsylvania. Accessed 18 November 2012.
Jensen, Nathan M., and Wantchekon, Leonard. 2004. Resource Wealth and Political Regimes in Africa. Comparative Political Studies 37 (7):816–41.
Kelley, Judith. 2008. Assessing the Complex Evolution of Norms: The Rise of International Election Monitoring. International Organization 62:221–55.
Kersting, Erasmus, and Kilby, Christopher. 2014. Aid and Democracy Redux. European Economic Review 67:125–43.
Kilby, Christopher. 2009. The Political Economy of Conditionality: An Empirical Analysis of World Bank Loan Disbursements. Journal of Development Economics 89 (1):5161.
Knack, Stephen. 2004. Does Foreign Aid Promote Democracy? International Studies Quarterly 48:251–66.
Kono, Daniel Yuichi, and Montinola, Gabriella R.. 2009. Does Foreign Aid Support Autocrats, Democrats, or Both? Journal of Politics 71 (2):704–18.
Marshall, Monty G., and Jaggers, Keith. 2011. Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800–2010. Dataset Users’ Manual. Center for Systemic Peace. College Park: University of Maryland. Available at http://www.systemicpeace.org/polityproject.html. Accessed 1 March 2012.
Morrison, Kevin M. 2007. Natural Resources, Aid, and Democratization: A Best-Case Scenario. Public Choice 131 (3/4):365–86.
Morrison, Kevin M. 2009. Oil, Nontax Revenue, and the Redistributional Foundations of Regime Stability. International Organization 63 (1):107–38.
Pack, Howard, and Pack, Janet Rothenberg. 1990. Is Foreign Aid Fungible? The Case of Indonesia. Economic Journal 100 (399):188–94.
Radelet, Steven. 2003. Bush and Foreign Aid. Foreign Affairs 82 (5):104–17.
Ramsay, Kristopher. 2011. Revisiting the Resource Curse: Natural Disasters, the Price of Oil, and Democracy. International Organization 65 (3):507–29.
Ross, Michael L. 2001. Does Oil Hinder Democracy? World Politics 53 (3):325–61.
Ross, Michael L. 2008. Oil, Islam, and Women. American Political Science Review 102 (1):107–23.
Ross, Michael L. 2012. The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Smith, Alastair. 2008. The Perils of Unearned Income. Journal of Politics 70 (3):780–93.
Stone, Randall W. 2002. Lending Credibility: The International Monetary Fund and the Post-Communist Transition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Stone, Randall W. 2008. The Scope of IMF Conditionality. International Organization 62 (4):589620.
Stone, Randall W. 2010. Buying Influence: Development Aid Between the Cold War and the War on Terror. Unpublished manuscript, University of Rochester, NY.
Tilly, Charles. 1990. Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1992. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Ulfelder, Jay. 2007. Natural Resource Wealth and the Survival of Autocracy. Comparative Political Studies 40 (8):9951018.
USAID. 2010. US Overseas Loans & Grants Greenbook. Available at https://www.usaid.gov/developer/greenbookapi. Accessed 29 September 2015.
Vreeland, James Raymond. 2011. Foreign Aid and Global Governance: Buying Bretton Woods the Swiss-bloc Case. Review of International Organizations 6 (3–4):369–91.
Wright, Joseph. 2009. How Foreign Aid Can Foster Democratization in Authoritarian Regimes. American Journal of Political Science 53 (3):552–71.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Bermeo supplementary material S1
Online Appendix

 Unknown (594 KB)
594 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed