Public Choice

, Volume 140, Issue 1, pp 59–84

Can foreign aid reduce income inequality and poverty?


DOI: 10.1007/s11127-009-9412-4

Cite this article as:
Chong, A., Gradstein, M. & Calderon, C. Public Choice (2009) 140: 59. doi:10.1007/s11127-009-9412-4


This paper’s goal is to examine the effect of foreign aid on income inequality and poverty reduction for the period 1971–2002. Since simple cross-country regressions cannot be taken as ‘true’ time series findings we focus on dynamic panel data techniques, which allow accounting for potential simultaneity and heterogeneity problems. We find some weak evidence that foreign aid is conducive to the improvement of the distribution of income when the quality of institutions is taken into account; however, this result is not robust. This finding is consistent with recent empirical research on aid ineffectiveness in achieving economic growth or promoting democratic institutions.


Inequality Poverty Foreign aid Panel data Governance 

JEL Classification

I3 O1 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Chong
    • 1
  • Mark Gradstein
    • 2
  • Cecilia Calderon
    • 3
  1. 1.Inter-American Development BankWashington, D.C.USA
  2. 2.Ben Gurion UniversityBeershebaIsrael
  3. 3.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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