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  • Dennis Patterson and Jangsup Choi


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.



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