Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 9 > Issue 1

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

Benjamin E. Goldsmith, Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney, Australia, ben.goldsmith@sydney.edu.au , Yusaku Horiuchi, Department of Government, Dartmouth College, USA, yusaku.horiuchi@dartmouth.edu , Terence Wood, School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, The Australian National University, Australia, terence.wood@anu.edu.au
Suggested Citation
Benjamin E. Goldsmith, Yusaku Horiuchi and Terence Wood (2014), "Doing Well by Doing Good: The Impact of Foreign Aid on Foreign Public Opinion", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 9: No. 1, pp 87-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00013036

Publication Date: 11 Mar 2014
© 2014 B. E. Goldsmith, Y. Horiuchi, and T. Wood
Public opinion,  International relations,  Political psychology,  Public policy,  Econometric models,  Simultaneous equation models
Foreign aidU.S. foreign policyHIVAIDSPEPFARPublic opinionInstrumental variables


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In this article:
1. Does Foreign Aid Affect Foreign Public Opinion? 
2. Data and Variables 
3. Results 
4. Conclusion 


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.