Public Choice

, Volume 136, Issue 1, pp 139-164

First online:

Does US aid buy UN general assembly votes? A disaggregated analysis

  • Axel DreherAffiliated withKOF, ETH ZurichCESifo
  • , Peter NunnenkampAffiliated withThe Kiel Institute for the World Economy
  • , Rainer ThieleAffiliated withThe Kiel Institute for the World Economy Email author 

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Using panel data for 143 countries over the period 1973–2002, this paper empirically analyzes the influence of US aid on voting patterns in the UN General Assembly. We use disaggregated aid data to account for the fact that various forms of aid may differ in their ability to induce political support by recipients. We obtain strong evidence that US aid buys voting compliance in the Assembly. More specifically, our results suggest that general budget support and grants are the major aid categories by which recipients have been induced to vote in line with the United States. When replicating the analysis for other G7 donors, no comparable patterns emerge.


Bilateral Aid UN General Assembly Voting