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Overseas Credit Claiming and Domestic Support for Foreign Aid

  • Simone Dietrich (a1), Susan D. Hyde (a2) and Matthew S. Winters (a3)


Many foreign aid donors brand development interventions. How do citizens in the donor country react to seeing this branding in action? We test the proposition that citizens will express higher levels of support for foreign aid when they see a branded foreign aid project relative to seeing the same project without branding. We present results from a survey-based laboratory experiment conducted in the United Kingdom where subjects learned about a typical foreign aid project and received a randomized UK branding treatment. Our results suggest that the branding treatments increase the likelihood that donor country respondents believe that aid recipients can identify the source of the foreign aid. Only among conservative respondents, however, does the evidence imply that branding increases support for foreign aid. “UK aid” branding increases conservative opinion that aid dollars are well spent and increases support among this group for the expansion of foreign aid.


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A previous version of this paper was presented at the “Public Opinion and Foreign Aid: Methodology and Policy Perspectives” workshop held at the University of Essex. Thanks to Joachim Beijmo, Gabriella Montinola, and Dan Nielson for comments and to Lula Chen for multiple useful conversations about multiple comparisons. Kristina Enger and Harsh Pappu provided excellent research assistance. This research was determined exempt from human subjects monitoring by institutional review boards at the University of Essex (where Dietrich was a professor when the research was conducted), the University of Illinois (IRB Protocol Number 16619), and Yale University (1602017262) (where Hyde was a professor when the research was conducted). The study was preregistered in the EGAP registry (ID 20160327AA, available at The data and code required to replicate all analyses in this article are available at the Journal of Experimental Political Science Dataverse within the Harvard Dataverse Network, at doi: 10.7910/DVN/3EDO2Y. The authors acknowledge no conflicts of interest.



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Overseas Credit Claiming and Domestic Support for Foreign Aid

  • Simone Dietrich (a1), Susan D. Hyde (a2) and Matthew S. Winters (a3)


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