Budget Support -Does US use it to buy votes at UN?

Recently there has been much talk about the UN reform, but how do you restructure UN so that powerful nations are not able to bribe poorer countries to vote? A paper at Kiel Institute alleges that US aid buys voting compliance in the UN;

“This paper empirically investigated whether US aid has had an influence on voting patterns in the UN General Assembly over the period 1973-2002. Compared to other bilateral donors, notably the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, the United States is widely believed to be less altruistic in allocating aid for humanitarian and developmental reasons. Apart from pursuing economic self-interests, US aid is supposed to be used to buy political support from recipient countries. The hypothesis that aid is applied as an instrument to induce recipients voting in line with the United States in the UN General Assembly is based on two observations: (i) various UN members are susceptible to bilateral pressure, and (ii) UN voting is considered relevant by the United States in defining bilateral relationships and foreign policy. As the main innovation of this paper, we used disaggregated aid data in order to assess whether aid was “effective” in inducing recipients to vote in line with the United States in the UN General Assembly. Different forms of aid may differ in their ability to induce political support by recipients. In particular, program aid (notably in the form of general budget support), grants, and untied aid are most likely to shape UN voting behavior. These links have been ignored in the previous literature.

Accounting for the potential endogeneity of aid, our results provide strong evidence that US aid has indeed bought voting compliance. More specifically, the results suggest that general budget support and untied grants are the major aid categories with which recipients have been induced to vote in line with the United States. When replicating the results for the other G7 countries, however, we did not find a similar pattern.”



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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on May 19, 2006 12:25 AM.

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