By Tim Harford, Bita Hadjimichael, and Michael Klein
This note reviews trends in official development assistance, focusing on volumes, sources, forms, and recipients. Several patterns emerge. First, a long-term trend of official flows taking the form of “hard” loans rather than grants and “soft” loans, with low interest and long maturities, has been reversed in the past five years. Second, both grants and loans are increasingly aimed at middle-income countries rather than the poorest. And third, official flows have fallen relative to rich-country income by 30 percent in the past 30 years.