The political economy of U.S. foreign aid: American legislators and the domestic politics of aid

Helen V. Milner, Dustin H. Tingley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations

Abstract

Are there systematic political economy factors that shape preferences for foreign aid, a key component of American foreign policy? We analyze votes in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 2003 that would increase or decrease foreign aid by considering the political, economic, and ideological characteristics of legislators and their districts. To understand who supports and opposes foreign aid, we utilize theories of foreign economic policy preferences. By examining different types of aid policy, we show that domestic politics and especially the distributional consequences of economic aid can matter. The economic characteristics of a district and its left-right ideological predispositions influence support for aid in a systematic fashion over the nearly 25-year period. Stolper-Samuelson models along with political ideology can help explain legislators' preferences toward aid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-232
Number of pages33
JournalEconomics and Politics
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The political economy of U.S. foreign aid: American legislators and the domestic politics of aid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this