Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2008:6: Do Protestant Aid Organizations Aid Protestants Only?

Niklas Bengtsson ()
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Niklas Bengtsson: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: We estimate the impact of a village-level assistance program run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania on literacy and schooling. The programs are partly funded by official development assistance from the US and EU. Villages in northwestern Tanzania are economically isolated but are still characterized a non-trivial degree of religious diversity. This setting allows us to study whether development assistance can spill over within villages, across religious affliation, while maintaining that treatment externalities between villages are mar- ginal. We find that the program increased literacy by 15-20 percent and primary schooling by 10-15 percent, but only among Protestant children. Catholic children living in the same targeted villages were virtually unaffected.

Keywords: Faith-based foreign aid; Impact evaluation; Religion; Sub-Saharan Africa

JEL-codes: F35; O12

28 pages, September 10, 2008

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