Kolloquien  |  Politik- und Verwaltungswissenschaft

Development Aid and Infant Mortality

Mittwoch, 14. Juni 2017
17.00 – 18.30 Uhr

A 702

Fachbereich Politk- und Verwaltungswissenschaft

Prof. Gudrun Østby

Diese Veranstaltung ist Teil der Veranstaltungsreihe „Fachbereichskolloquium Politik- und Verwaltungswissenschaft“.

Foreign aid as a tool for development has remained a subject of intense debate for more than four decades. However, the empirical literature remains inconclusive when it comes to the question of whether foreign aid spurs development and social improvements, or even hinders it. While there is a vast literature studying the effects of development aid (DA) on economic growth, there are far fewer systematic, comparative studies addressing how aid affects health outcomes. Furthermore, while much attention has been paid to country-level effects of aid, there is a clear knowledge gap in the literature when it comes to systematic studies of aid effectiveness below the country-level. Addressing this gap, we undertake what we believe is the first systematic attempt to study how DA affects infant mortality at the subnational level. We match new geographic aid data from the AidData Research Consortium on the precise location, type, scope, and time frame of bilateral and multilateral aid projects in Nigeria with available georeferenced survey data from five Nigerian Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1990, 2003, 2008, 2010 and 2013, covering information on 294,835 births in the period 1953–2013 by 66,293 mothers aged 15-49 at the time of the respective survey. Using quasi-experimental approaches, with mother fixed-effects, we are able to control for a vast number of unobserved factors that may otherwise be spuriously correlated with both infant mortality and DA. The results indicate that geographical proximity to aid projects indeed reduces infant mortality. Moreover, in an attempt to study whether aid can contribute to reduce systematic group inequalities in access to health care, we find that aid indeed appears to have heterogeneous effects. In particular, the effect is stronger for less privileged groups like children of Muslim women, and for children living in rural and in Muslim areas. On the other hand, using a spatio-temporal difference in difference design, we show that aid is allocated to areas with already less rather than more infant mortality.