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Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa

Dreher, Axel ; Fuchs, Andreas ; Parks, Bradley ; Strange, Austin M. ; Tierney, Michael J.

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Abstract

Chinese “aid” is a lightning rod for criticism. Policymakers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing is using its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms—all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese “aid” stems from a failure to distinguish between China’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially-oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China’s official financing commitments to Africa from 2000-2013, we find the allocation of Chinese ODA to be driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional flows. These results highlight the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0620
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 06:50
Date: October 2016
Number of Pages: 57
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Development Finance, Foreign Aid, Non-DAC Donors, China, Tracking Underreported Financial Flows
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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