Working Paper No. 1337

Chinese Aid to Africa: Distinguishing Features and Local Effects

Published: May 7, 2020Pages: 11Keywords: China; Africa; Foreign aidJEL-codes: F35; O19; O55

Chinese Aid to Africa: Distinguishing Features and Local Effects Ann-Sofie Isaksson and Andreas Kotsadam

Drawing on our recent work on local effects of Chinese development projects in Africa, this review article highlights a number of distinguishing features of Chinese aid, and discusses how these may translate into local aid impacts that differ from those of other donors. Unlike aid from other major donors, Chinese aid projects were found to fuel local corruption, discourage trade union involvement, to not increase political incumbency support, and to make ethnic identities more salient in the local areas. As such, our findings highlight important donor heterogeneities as well as the need to consider not only to what extent aid achieves its explicit objectives, but also its potential unintended effects, or externalities.


Isaksson, Ann-Sofie and Andreas Kotsadam (2020), "Chinese Aid to Africa: Distinguishing Features and Local Effects". IFN Working Paper No. 1337. Stockholm: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

Ann-Sofie Isaksson


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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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