Paul Collier

Contact | CSAE | Oxford Econ Dept
Africa | Aid | Conflict | Political economy +
Affiliations | Presentations | Other



Recent Papers

Title Author(s) Download
Rethinking the Provision of Public Services in Post-Conflict States
Paul Collier pdf file
PDF file (50kB)
The Provision of Social Services in Fragile States: Independent Service Authorities as a New Modality Tessa Bold, Paul Collier and Andrew Zeitlin pdf file
PDF file (365kB)
Unintended Consequences: Does Aid Promote Arms Races?
[2007, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 69: 1-28]
Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler pdf file
PDF file (Blackwell's website)
Does Aid Mitigate External Shocks? [accepted, Review of Development Economics ] Paul Collier and Benedikt Goderis pdf file
PDF file (229kB)
What are the preconditions for turnarounds in failing states?
[forthcoming in Journal of Peace and Conflict Management]
Lisa Chauvet and Paul Collier pdf file
PDF file (185kB)
Supervision and Project Performance: A Principal-Agent Approach Lisa Chauvet, Paul Collier and Andreas Fuster pdf file
PDF file (311kB)
The Cost of Failing States and the Limits to Sovereignty Lisa Chauvet, Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler pdf file
PDF file (222kB)
Shocks and Growth: Adaptation, Precaution and Compensation Paul Collier, Benedikt Goderis and Anke Hoeffler pdf file
PDF file (394kB)
Assisting Africa to Achieve Decisive Change
[Swedish Economic Policy Review 13 (2006) 199-203]
Paul Collier pdf file
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Helping Hand? Aid to Failing States Lisa Chauvet and Paul Collier pdf file
PDF file (317kB)

Is Aid Oil?: An analysis of whether Africa can absorb more aid.
[World Development 34 (2006) pp.1482-1497

Paul Collier pdf file
PDF file (273kB)


Can the World Cut Poverty in Half? How Policy Reform and Effective Aid Can Meet International Development Goals

Poverty in the developing world will decline by about one-half by 2015 if the trends of the 1990s persist. Most of this poverty reduction will occur in Asia, however, while poverty will decline only slightly in Africa. Effective aid could make a contribution to greater poverty reduction in lagging regions. Even more potent would be significant policy reform in these countries. We develop a model of efficient aid in which flows respond to policy improvements that create a better environment for poverty reduction and effective aid. We investigate scenarios of policy reform and efficient aid that point the way to how the world can cut poverty in half in every major region.

Aid allocation and poverty reduction

We have derived a poverty-efficient allocation of aid and compared it with actual aid allocations. The allocation of aid that has the maximum effect on poverty depends on the level of poverty and the quality of policies. Using the headcount, poverty-gap, and squared poverty gap measures of poverty, alternatively, all yield similar poverty-efficient allocations. We find that the actual allocation of aid is radically different from the poverty-efficient allocation. With the present allocation, aid lifts around 10 million people annually out of poverty in our sample of countries. With a poverty-efficient allocation, the productivity of aid would nearly double.

Aid, policy and growth in post-conflict societies

Countries emerging from civil war attract both aid and policy advice. We providesd the first systematic empirical analysis of aid and policy reform in the post-conflict growth process. It is based on a comprehensive data set of large civil wars, and covers 17 societies that were in their first decade of post-conflict economic recovery. We investigated whether the absorptive capacity for aid is systematically different in post-conflict countries. We found that during the first 3 post-conflict years absorptive capacity is no greater than normal, but that in the rest of the first decade it is approximately double its normal level. Thus, ideally, aid should phase in during the decade. Historically, aid has not, on average, been higher in post-conflict societies, and indeed it has tended to taper out over the course of the decade. We then investigated whether the contribution of policy to growth is systematically different in post-conflict countries, and in particular, whether particular components of policy are differentially important. For this we used the World Bank policy rating database. We found that growth is more sensitive to policy in post-conflict societies. Comparing the efficacy of different policies, we found that social policies are differentially important relative to macroeconomic policies. However, historically, this does not appear to have been how policy reform has been prioritized in post-conflict societies.


Collier, Paul and Anke Hoeffler, ‘Aid, policy and growth in post-conflict countries’, The European Economic Review, Vol. 48, pp. 1125-1145, 2004.
Collier, Paul and David Dollar, ‘Development effectiveness: What have we learnt?’ Economic Journal, Vol. 114 (496), pp. F244-F271, 2004.
Collier, P. , (with A. Bigsten et al.), ‘Developpement: L Malediction Petroliere’, Societal, Vol. 42, 2003.
Collier, Paul and David Dollar, ‘Aid allocation and poverty reduction’, European Economic Review, Vol. 46 (8), pp. 1475-1500, 2002.
Collier, Paul , David Dollar and Nicholas Stern, ‘Cinquante ans de développement économique: Bilan et expériences’, Revue d'Economie du Developpement, Vol. 1-2, 2001.
Collier, Paul and David Dollar, ‘Can the world cut poverty in half? How policy reform and effective aid can meet international development goals’, World Development, Vol. 29 (11), pp. 1787-1802, 2001.
Collier, Paul , ‘Aid, shocks and trade: What East Timor can learn from African experience’, in H. Hill and J.M. Saldanha (eds), East Timor: Development Challenges for the World's Newest Nation, pp. 336-349, Institute of South East Asian Studies/Asia Pacific Press/Palgrave Publishers Ltd, 2001.
Collier, Paul and David Dollar, ‘Aid, risk and the special concerns of small states’, in D. Peretz, R. Faruqi and E.J. Kisanga (eds), Small States in the Global Economy, London: Commonwealth Secretariat and World Bank, 2001.
Collier, Paul and David Dollar, ‘Does Africa need a Marshall Plan?’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. XIV (1), 2000.
Collier, Paul and Jan Willem Gunning, ‘African trade liberalisations: Alternative strategies for sustainable reform’, in David L. Bevan, Paul Collier, Norman Gemmell and David Greenaway (eds), Trade and Fiscal Adjustment in Africa, pp. 36-55, Basingstoke and London: Macmillan and New York: St Martin’s Press, 2000.
Collier, Paul , ‘Conditionality, dependence and coordination: Three current debates in aid policy’, in C. L. Gilbert and D. Vines (eds), The World Bank: Structure and Policies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.


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