Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-d9hj2 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-29T04:49:21.583Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2019


South Korea is the only nation to become an important donor nation after being a recipient of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for several decades. In 2010, it became a member of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, and while it has continued to use its experience as a former ODA recipient to inform its distribution practices, it also has evolved its ODA policies in response to changes in international norms and the imperatives associated with being a DAC-member nation. We know that, while policies may change, actual ODA disbursements—which nations are selected as recipients and receive ODA in what amounts—may lag or even remain unchanged. In this paper, we use the case of South Korea to determine how actual ODA disbursements change in response to policy changes. To accomplish this, we use a selection model to conduct a statistical analysis of South Korea's ODA disbursements using dyadic data from 1987 to 2016. Our results indicate that, while there has been continuity in terms of which nations receive South Korean ODA, there were also notable changes in its disbursements. Specifically, the ODA policy changes the South Korean government enacted did result in an altered profile of nations that were targeted by South Korea as ODA recipients.

Copyright © East Asia Institute 2019 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Allison, Graham. 1972. The Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
Amsden, Alice. 1989. Asia's Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Arvin, B. Mak, and Drewes, Torben. 2001. “Are there Biases in German Bilateral Aid Allocations?Applied Economics Letters 8 (3): 173177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baldwin, David A. 1985. Economic Statecraft. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Bandyopadhyay, Subhayo, and Wall, Howard J.. 2007. “The Determinants of Aid in the Post-Cold War Era.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review 89 (6): 533547.Google Scholar
Birdsall, Nancy, de la Torre, Augusto, and Caicedo, Felipe Valencia. 2010. “The Washington Consensus: Assessing a Damaged Brand.” Center for Global Development, Working Paper 211.Google Scholar
Biswal, Nisha Desai. 2011. “From U.S. Aid Recipient to Donor Partner: The Republic of Korea's Health Ministry Honors USAID.” Accessed August 22, 2014.—therepublic-of-koreas-health-ministry-honors-usaid.Google Scholar
Boix, Carles, and Stokes, Susan C.. 2003. “Endogenous Democratization.” World Politics 55 (4): 517549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bruce, Bueno de Mesquita. 1992. War and Reason. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Chun, Hongmin, Munyi, Elijah N., and Lee, Heejin. 2010. “South Korea as an Emerging Donor: Challenges and Changes on its Entering OECD/DAC.” Journal of International Development 22 (6): 788802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chung, Soyoon, Eom, Young Ho, and Jung, Heon Joo. 2016. “Why Untie Aid? An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of South Korea's Untied Aid from 2010 to 2013.” Journal of International Development 28 (4): 552598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chung, Young-Iob. 2007. South Korea in the Fast Lane: Economic Development and Capital Formation. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cigranelli, David L., and Pasquarello, Thomas. 1985. “Human Rights Practices and the Distribution of Foreign Aid to Latin American Countries.” American Journal of Political Science 29 (3): 539563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Demirel-Pegg, Tijen, and Moskowitz, James. 2009. “US Aid Allocation: The Nexus of Human Rights, Democracy, and Development.” Journal of Peace Research 46 (2): 181198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fearon, James D. (1998) “Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy, and Theories of International Relations.” Annual Review of Political Science 1: 289313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
G20. 2010. “Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth.” U.S. Department of the Treasury. Accessed April 26, 2014. Scholar
Greene, William H. 2003. Econometric Analysis. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
Heckman, James J. 1979. “Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error.” Econometrica 47 (1): 153162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heo, Uk, and Roehrig, Terence. 2014. South Korea's Rise: Economic Development, Power, and Foreign Relations. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hurd, Ian. 1999. “Legitimacy and Authority in International Politics,” International Organization 53 (2): 379408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, Chalmers. 1982. MITI and the Japanese Miracle. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Ikenberry, John G., and Mo, Jongryn. 2013. The Rise of Korean Leadership: Emerging Powers and International Order. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kang, David C. 2014. East Asia before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Kegley, Charles W. 1993. “The Neoidealist Moment in International Studies? Realist Myths and the New International Realists.” International Studies Quarterly 37 (1): 131146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, Eun-Mee, and Oh, Jinwhan. 2012. “Determinants of Foreign Aid: The Case of South Korea.” Journal of East Asian Studies 12 (2): 251273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, Eun-Mee, Kim, Pil Ho, and Kim, Jinkyung. 2013. “From Development to Development Cooperation: Foreign Aid, Country Ownership, and the Developmental State in South Korea.” The Pacific Review 26 (3): 313336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, Jiyoung. 2011. “Foreign Aid and Economic Development: The Success Story of South Korea.” Pacific Focus 26 (2): 260286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, Ki-Cheon. 2010. “The Significance of the Seoul Consensus.” The Chosun Ilbo. November 16, 2010. Accessed April 23, 2014. Scholar
Kim, Sang-Tae, and Seddon, David. 2005. “ODA Policy and Practice: Japan and the Republic of Korea.” In Japan's Foreign Aid: Old Continuities and New Directions, edited by David Arase, 152–190. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Kim, Sooyong, and Kim, Wan-Soon. 1992. Korea's Development Assistance: Performance, Prospects, and Policy. Seoul: International Center for Economic Growth.Google Scholar
Kim, Sung-Mi. 2016. “The Domestic Politics of International Development in South Korea: Stakeholders and Competing Policy Discourses.” The Pacific Review 29 (1): 6791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kuznets, Paul W. 1977. Economic Growth and Structure in the Republic of Korea. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Lai, Brian. 2003. “Examining the Goals of US Foreign Assistance in the Post-Cold War Period, 1991–96.” Journal of Peace Research 40 (1): 103128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lebow, Richard Ned. 2008. A Cultural Theory of International Relations. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, Kye-Woo. 2012. “Aid by Korea: Progress and Challenges.” Korea's Economy 28: 4555.Google Scholar
Lumsdaine, David H. 1993. Moral Vision in International Politics: The Foreign Aid Regime, 1949–1989. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Maisels, Alfred, and Nissanke, Machinko K.. 1984. “Motivations for Aid to Developing CountriesWorld Development 12 (9): 879900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meernik, James, Krueger, Eric L., and Poe, Steven C.. 1998. “Testing Models of U.S. Foreign Policy: Foreign Aid during and after the Cold War.” Journal of Politics 60 (1): 6385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MOFAT. 2012. 2012 Diplomatic White Paper. Seoul: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.Google Scholar
Newnham, Randall E. 2002. “Embassies for Sale: The Purchase of Diplomatic Recognition by West Germany, Taiwan, and South Korea.” International Politics 37 (2): 259284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nooruddin, Irfan. 2002. “Modeling Selection Bias in Studies of Sanctions Efficacy.” International Interactions 28 (1): 5975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
OECD. 1996. Shaping the Twenty-First Century: The Role of Development Cooperation. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.Google Scholar
OECD. 2012. Korea: Development Assistance Committee, Peer Review, 2012. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.Google Scholar
OECD. 2017a. OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms. Accessed August 14, 2016. Scholar
OECD. 2017b International Development Statistics. Accessed April 2, 2017. Scholar
Oh, Jinhwan. 2014. “Mutual Priority and Aid Effectiveness: Is South Korea a Major Donor to Its Major Recipients?Pacific Focus 29 (1): 116139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oh, Jinhwan, Song, Jisun, and Yin, Eun. 2015. “Comparison of Aid Allocation Patterns of Two Emerging Donors: Korea and Greece.” Review of European Studies 7 (12): 112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Powell, Robert. 1994. “Anarchy in International Relations Theory: The Neorealist-Neoliberal Debate.” International Organization 48 (2): 313344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Przeworski, Adam and Limongi, Fernando. 1997. “Modernization: Theories and Facts.” World Politics 49 (2): 155183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Riddell, Roger C. 2008. Does Foreign Aid Really Work? New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Roehrig, Terence. 2013. “South Korea, Foreign Aid, and UN Peacekeeping: Contributing to International Peace and Security as a Middle Power.” Korea Observer 44 (4): 623645.Google Scholar
Scott, James M., and Steele, Carie. 2011. “Sponsoring Democracy: The United States and Democracy Aid to the Developing World, 1988–2001.” International Studies Quarterly 55 (1): 4769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Snyder, Scott A., and Choi, Seukoon Paul. 2012. “From Aid to Development Partnership: Strengthening U.S.-Republic of Korea Cooperation in International Development.Working Paper. New York: Council on Foreign Relations.Google Scholar
Sohn, Hyuk-Sang and Yoo, Nari. 2015. “Motivation for Aid Allocation and Political Ideology: A Case Study of South Korea.” Pacific Focus 30,(3): 344371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stallings, Barbara, and Kim, Eunmi. 2016. “Japan, Korea, and China: Styles of ODA in East Asia,” In Japan's Development Assistance: Foreign Aid and the Post-2015 Agenda, edited by Yasutami Shimomura, John Page, and Hiroshi Kato, 120–134. London: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
Steinberg, David I. 1985. Foreign Aid and the Development of the Republic of Korea: The Effectiveness of Concessional Assistance. AID Special Study No. 42. Washington, DC: Agency for International Development.Google Scholar
Tuman, John P., and Strand, Jonathan R.. 2006. “The Role of Mercantilism, Humanitarianism, and Gaiatsu in Japan's ODA Programs in Asia.” International Relations of the Asia Pacific 6 (1): 6180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tuman, John P., Strand, Jonathan R., and Emmert, Craig F.. 2009. “The Disbursement Pattern of Japanese Foreign Aid: A Reappraisal.” Journal of East Asian Studies 9 (2): 219248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waltz, Kenneth. 1979. Theory of International Politics. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
Wohlforth, William C. 2009. “Unipolarity, Status Competition, and Great Power War.” World Politics 61 (1): 2857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar