Aid, Education and Development

University dissertation from Stockholm : Department of Economics, Stockholm University

Abstract: This thesis consists of four essays in development and political economics.Aid Effectiveness: New Instrument, New Results?Despite a voluminous literature, the question of whether aid leads to growth is still controversial. To observe the effect of aid, researchers have used instrumental variables that must be exogenous to growth and explain well aid flows. We propose a new instrument based on aid quantities as predicted by the priority that different recipients are given by the donors. We find a positive and significant, though relatively small, effect of aid.Hidden Redistribution in Higher EducationThis paper advances and tests the hypothesis that overspending in higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa  reflects patterns of redistribution towards the elites close to the political leaders, when this level of education is accessible exclusively or mostly to such groups. I find support for this hypothesis, but the bulk of the Sub-Saharan Africa spending anomaly remains to be explained.The Impact of a Food For Education Program on Schooling in CambodiaFood for education (FFE) programs, which consist of meals served in school and in some cases take-home rations, are considered a powerful tool to improve education and health outcomes for children in the developing world.  In this paper, we evaluate the Cambodia FFE and find that it increased enrollment rates, school attendance and achieved education. We also investigate who benefited the most, and how cost-effective such a program is compared to other types of interventions.Heterogeneity in the Growth Elasticity of PovertyIncreasing per capita incomes are generally associated with decreasing poverty rates. After the UN Millennium Declaration, a big research effort has focused on the responsiveness of poverty to growth using the concept of growth elasticity of poverty: the percentage change in poverty associated with a 1 percent growth in per capita income. This paper investigates, with help of new data, the heterogeneity around a well known average relationship. The main focus is on the effect of constitutions.

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