Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Restricted Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program

Government and Legal Studies

First Advisor

Christopher Heurlin


My honors paper attempts to answer what the driving forces of China’s aid allocation in the 21st century are. This has been a disputed topic among scholars, and I, therefore, aim to add to the current literature by identifying the top determinants. This topic is extremely important in the international development field, as aid allocation has profound impacts on developing recipient countries. I first analyze research that past scholars have conducted. I then conduct my own regression analyses to test the significance of variables such as diplomatic recognition, trade flows, mineral resource rent per capita, oil revenue per capita, government visits, Confucius institutes, deaths by natural disasters, GDP per capita, population, democracy, region, and border. Lastly, I discuss a variety of case studies. I briefly discuss Cuba, Cote D’lvoire, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zimbabwe. Additionally, I analyze Costa Rica and El Salvador to garner a better understanding of the association between diplomatic recognition and aid allocation. Furthermore, I look at Mauritania and Moldova to comprehensively understand the relationship between mineral resources and aid allocation. I ultimately find that diplomatic recognition is the primary explanation for China’s aid allocation, and mineral resources are a secondary explanation.


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