Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Political Science

First Advisor

Susan Allen

Second Advisor

Lauren Ferry

Third Advisor

Gang Guo


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This three essays dissertation project examines the economic and political effects of Chinese foreign aid. China has appeared as an emerging player in international development finance over the last couple of decades, and it is also considered as a leader among alternative donors. In this project, I focus on two strands of research on Chinese foreign aid. First, I study the political effects of Chinese aid, where I examine whether and how Chinese aid props up non-democratic regimes in host countries. Second, I study the economic effects of Chinese aid, where I examine whether and how Chinese aid affects economic and human development outcomes in recipient countries. I use cross-national, subnational, and household-level data, and apply several different statistical methods to conduct my empirical analyses. Findings from regression analyses conducted in the first part of dissertation (chapter 2) suggest that official finance from China potentially props up non-democratic leaders in recipient countries, which may pose challenge to the fundamentals of the US-led liberal world order. On the other hand, findings from regression analyses conducted in the second part (chapter 3 and chapter 4) of this dissertation suggest that despite emphasizing commercial, geo-political, and natural-resource extraction related projects, Chinese aid may contribute to improving economic and human development outcomes, if recipient countries have democratic governments in place.



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