Seeds of hope: Assessing the effect of development aid on the reduction of child mortality


The Millennium Declaration (2000) set as one of its targets a substantial reduction in child mortality. This paper studies whether the massive increase in development aid can account for part of the reduction in child mortality observed in developing countries since the year 2000. To do so, we analyze a panel of more than 130 developing countries over the 2000-2008 period. We use the time trend evolution of aid to identify an exogenous source of variation. Total aid has had no statistically significant effect on child mortality. However, a disaggregate analysis identifies certain sectors of aid that have had a significant impact. The effects have been larger in high mortality countries, including Sub-Saharan Africa. Projections based on our estimates strongly support the concern that most countries in that region will miss the Millennium Goals target on child mortality.