Did the Aid Boom Pacify Sub-Saharan Africa?

Jean-Paul Azam, TSE, Université de Toulouse

Jean-Paul Azam

Abstract :
The incidence of civil war in Sub-Saharan Africa since the turn of the century is less than half of what it was on average in the last quarter of the 20th century. This paper shows that the aid boom triggered by 9/11 played a key role in achieving purposefully this result using panel data for 46 African countries over four decades. The duly instrumented estimated linear probability model predicts that the observed fall in the probability of a civil war occurring in a typical Sub-Saharan African country/year could have been achieved by increasing foreign aid by 25% on average, had the higher incidence of natural disasters and the commodity price shocks of the 2000s not stacked the odds against peace. However, the small rise in minor conflicts mitigates this achievement to some extent.