Doing Well by Doing Good: The Impact of Foreign Aid on Foreign Public Opinion

Ben Goldsmith, Yusaku Horiuchi, Terence Wood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Citations (Scopus)


    Does foreign aid extended by one country improve that country's image among populations of recipient countries? Using a multinational survey, we show that a United States aid program targeted to address HIV and AIDS substantially improves perceptions of the U.S. Our identification strategy for causal inference is to use instrumental variables measuring the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS problem in aid recipient countries. Our finding implies that in addition to its potential humanitarian benefits, foreign aid that is targeted, sustained, effective, and visible can serve as an important strategic goal for those countries that give it: fostering positive perceptions among foreign publics. By doing good, a country can do well.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-114pp
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Political Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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