Journal Article

Needs-based Targeting or Favoritism? The Regional Allocation of Multilateral Aid Within Recipient Countries


  • Öhler
  • H.
  • Nunnenkamp
  • P.
Publication Date

The regional allocation of aid within recipient countries has been largely ignored. We use geocoded data on the location of aid projects financed by the World Bank and the African Development Bank within a sample of 27 recipient countries to assess the claim of donors that their aid targets needy population segments. We also assess whether political leaders in these countries direct aid funds to their home region. We do not find that the multilateral institutions take regional needs into account. Instead, favoritism appears to play an important role for location choices, in particular for physical infrastructure projects.


JEL Classification
F35, F53

Key Words

  • African Development Bank
  • aid allocation
  • favoritism
  • within-country targeting
  • World Bank