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Filling the “decency gap”? Donors’ reaction to the US policy on international family planning aid

I study the reaction of donors to the US allocation of family planning aid. Family planning offers an interesting case to understand donor interactions. First, projects are relatively similar from one donor to another, easing substitution between donors. Second, one donor, the US, dominates the sector but its foreign policy on family planning has undergone several changes, related to domestic debates on abortion. European donors clearly express their position against these changes and pledge to substitute the US. Exploiting the timing of the Mexico City Policy to instrument the US allocation, I find that, on average, other donors do not react to the US. Donors only react in countries where abortion is on request suggesting that budget constraints do not allow donors to compensate for the US withdrawal in all countries.

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