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Do Development Minister Characteristics Affect Aid Giving?

Fuchs, Andreas ; Richert, Katharina

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Abstract

Over 300 government members have had the main responsibility for international development cooperation in 23 member countries of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee since the organization started reporting detailed Official Development Assistance (ODA) data in 1967. Understanding their role in foreign aid giving is crucial since their decisions might directly impact aid effectiveness and thus economic development on the ground. Our study examines whether development ministers’ personal characteristics influence aid budgets and aid quality. To this end, we create a novel database on development ministers’ gender, political ideology, prior professional experience in development cooperation, education in economics, and time in office over the 1967-2012 period. Results from fixed-effects panel regressions show that some of the personal characteristics of development ministers matter. Most notably, we find that more experienced ministers with respect to their time in office obtain larger aid budgets. Moreover, there is evidence that female ministers as well as officeholders with prior professional experience in development cooperation and a longer time in office provide higher-quality ODA.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0604
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 11:13
Date: November 2015
Number of Pages: 45
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: development minister, leadership, foreign aid, Official Development Assistance, aid budget, aid quality, personal characteristics, gender, partisan politics, experience
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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