Aid for food security: does it work?

Ivica Petrikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The paper’s objective is to contribute to existing literature by examining whether development aid has any measurable impact on food security, whether the impact is conditioned on the quality of governance, and whether it differs based on the type of aid provided.

Panel-data analysis of 85 developing countries between 1994 and 2011, employing GMM and 2SLS estimators.

The paper finds that aid in general has a small positive impact on food security; that multilateral aid, grants, and social and economic aid have a positive effect on food security in their own right; and that bilateral aid, loans, and agricultural aid are more conditioned on the quality of governance that other aid.

Research Limitations
The main limitations rest with the imperfect nature of cross-country data on food security and governance, which I have tried to overcome through a series of robustness tests.

Practical Implications
The findings suggest that aid, despite its many deficiencies, can play a positive role in strengthening food security. Furthermore, they indicate that concessional loans, bilateral aid, and agricultural aid are likely to foster food security only in countries with better governance.

The paper constitutes a novel contribution to existing literature because it is one of the first to use cross-country data to explore the impact of aid on food security and because it utilizes a relatively complex aid categorization, which allows its conclusions to be more nuanced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-59
JournalInternational Journal of Development Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • food security
  • development aid
  • governance
  • heterogeneous impact


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