The Institutional Economics of Foreign Aid

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November 2003



This book analyzes the institutions--incentives and constraints--that guide the behavior of persons involved in the implementation of aid programs. While traditional performance studies tend to focus almost exclusively on policies and institutions in recipient countries, the authors look at incentives in the entire chain of organizations involved in the delivery of foreign aid, from donor governments and agencies to consultants, experts and other intermediaries. They examine incentives inside donor agencies, the interaction of subcontractors with recipient organizations, incentives inside recipient country institutions, and biases in aid performance monitoring systems.


List of figures; Foreword Elinor Ostrom; 1. Introduction Bertin Martens; 2. Conflicts of objectives and task allocation in aid agencies Paul Seabright; 3. The interaction of donors, contractors and recipients in implementing aid for institutional reform Peter Murrell; 4. Embedding externally induced institutional reform Uwe Mummert; 5. The role of evaluation in foreign aid programmes Bertin Martens; 6. Some policy conclusions regarding organizations involved in foreign aid Bertin Martens; Index.


Bertin Martens is an economist at the European Commission in Brussels. He has worked for various foreign aid organizations, including United Nations agencies and the European Commission, and he is a member of the International Society for New Institutional Economics. Professor Uwe Mummert is a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems in Jena, Germany. Peter Murrell is Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland and currently holds a Chair on the Academic Council of the IRIS Center. He is the author of The Nature of Socialist Economies and Assessing the Value of Law in the Transition to Socialism, and is a contributor to various journals, including the American Economic Review and the Journal of Comparative Economics. Paul Seabright is Professor of Economics at the University of Toulouse. His many publications have focused on theoretical and applied microeconomics, and he is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research.


'In sum, this book provides a thoughtful assessment of the institutional constraints to foreign aid. Graduate students and teachers, as well as development practitioners, will find much of interest in this book.' The Journal of Development Studies 'The four authors demonstrate that agency theory can be successfully applied to shed light on the delivery of foreign aid. Practitioners are probably familiar with many of the problems highlighted but the book deserves credit for putting them on a sound theoretical footing.' Aussen-Wirtschaft 'This excellent book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the factors of success and failure of foreign aid ... full of interesting insights into the operation of real-world aid mechanisms. The use of agency theory gives the book considerable conceptual unity and reinforces its message ... this is an excellent example of applied economics at its best, using models that deal realistically with real problems to throw light upon relevant and important questions. It should interest a large number of economists and other professionals involved in or concerned with foreign aid and development cooperation. In fact, at least the opening chapter should be made compulsory reading for all such professionals, since this would be likely both to increase their effectiveness and decrease their levels of frustration. It would also not surprise me if the publication of this book would trigger a stream of related studies ...' Development and Change
EAN: 9780521808187
ISBN: 0521808189
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2003
Seitenanzahl: 212 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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