Countering Narcotics: Explaining the Variation in U.S. Counternarcotic Foreign Aid Open Access

Sibilia, Brandon (2015)

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What explains the variation in U.S. counternarcotic foreign aid? This thesis attempts to be the first study to answer this question through an analysis of three distinct determinants: domestic economic concerns, national security interests, and regime type. To empirically analyze these determinants, I construct a dataset that includes all potential drug trafficking and drug producing countries from 1996 to 2014. The main empirical result is that the U.S. consistently considers interests of national security when allocating counternarcotic aid. Countries that have an alliance with the U.S. and countries with an already established American military presence receive more aid than their counterparts. Economic interests may play a minor role in determining aid allocations, but only at the margins. Recipient needs, on the other hand, do not stand as an important determinant of U.S. counternarcotic aid. In fact, as countries become more economically developed, they receive more counternarcotic assistance even though they have additional resources to combat narcotics-related issues.

Table of Contents

Introduction Page 1

Determinants of U.S. Foreign Aid Page 5

U.S. Counternarcotic Policy Framework Page 8

Explaining the Variation in U.S. Counternarcotic Aid Page 12

Research Design Page 22

Empirical Results Page 43

Issues of Endogeneity Page 55

Conclusion Page 57

Works Cited Page 59

Appendix A Page 63

Appendix B Page 64

Appendix C Page 66

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