In this paper, we demonstrate that even when foreign aid is used to fund patronage, it may still have a positive - and significant - effect on economic growth in developing countries. First, we present a theory that formalizes the effect of aid on economic growth and patronage. Next, we provide evidence from Pakistan consistent with the predictions of the model that foreign aid increases economic growth, despite being used for patronage. The identification strategy we propose allows us to provide causal evidence for the predictions of the model.
Mehmood, S., & Seror, A. (2019). The political economy of foreign aid and growth: Theory and evidence. ESI Working Paper 19-10. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/268/