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Chapter 14 - Foreign aid and development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Adam Szirmai
Affiliation:
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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Summary

In this concluding chapter, we discuss the role of foreign aid in development. The central question is whether aid works. To what extent and under which conditions does aid make a positive contribution to socio-economic development?

The decision to discuss foreign aid at the end of this book is a deliberate one. After all, socio-economic development is determined by a complex of factors, including proximate sources of growth, historical experiences, natural circumstances, demographic factors, power structures and processes of state formation, institutions, attitudes and aptitudes, international economic relations and economic policies. Foreign aid is just one of many factors. At best, its contribution can be only modest. The original theories of economic aid formulated in the 1950s and the 1960s by authors such as Chenery and Strout, Rostow and Rosenstein-Rodan, recognise this explicitly. They state that under certain conditions foreign aid may contribute to an acceleration of growth and development, but it cannot transform processes of stagnation into dynamic processes of development. In the debates between the supporters and opponents of foreign aid this tends to be forgotten.

Until the 1990s, the desirability of development aid was not questioned in the political debate. In the 1980s, all donors together granted approximately 60 billion dollars per year in official development assistance. Despite the substantial resources involved, the budgets for foreign aid were exempted from expenditure cuts in most countries until the late 1980s.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
An Introduction
, pp. 580 - 632
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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  • Foreign aid and development
  • Adam Szirmai, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817342.015
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  • Foreign aid and development
  • Adam Szirmai, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817342.015
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Foreign aid and development
  • Adam Szirmai, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817342.015
Available formats
×