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Pretending to be the Good Guy. How to Increase ODA Inflows while Abusing Human Rights

Schmaljohann, Maya

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I investigate  the  effect  of  ratification  of different  human  rights  treaties  adopted  by  the United  Nations  General  Assembly  on  Official Development  Assistance  (ODA)  by  donors  of  the OECD  Development  Assistance  Committee  (DAC).  On  average the  ratification  of  an  additional human rights treaty increases total ODA by 6% (around 33.5 million USD) and the ratification of one of the two most important treaties, on torture and civil and political rights, increases total ODA by up to  19% (around  97million  USD).  Additionally  I  show  that countries  with  low  human  rights compliance  can  use treaty  ratification  as  a  substitute  for  actual improvements  in  their  protection  of human  rights. While  ratification  of  the  two  most  important treaties  does  not  increase  ODA  for countries with low levels of respect for human rights, it increases aid commitments for those countries with  the  lowest  respect  for  human  rights  by  almost  42%. This  pattern  does  not  significantly  differ between  the Nordic  donors  and  the  five most  important DAC donors. The  results  become  stronger when taking possible endogeneity of treaty ratification into account.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0549
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2013 13:47
Date: September 2013
Number of Pages: 45
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: aid allocation; human rights; UN treaties
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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