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Criteria for Assessing the Case for Overseas Aid: A Note

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This note derives minimum appraisal criteria for foreign aid consistent with those used by donor governments for domestic spending, and discusses implications for the level, allocation and financing of aid programmes. One finding is that aid is only welfare-enhancing when the recipient country's social time preference rate is higher than the donor's, as will normally be the case. This implies that endowment financing is inferior to funding aid from current income, though borrowing against future aid as proposed by the International Financing Facility can be worthwhile provided returns exceed the borrowing cost.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Economics Ltd., Chelmsford, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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