international relations Japan-related research

JPOSS#49:“Japan and the African Development Bank”

The forty-ninth session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on May 9, 2024. Christina Davis (Harvard University) chaired the seminar and moderated the Q&A session.

Tetsekela Anyiam-Osigwe (Princeton University) presented a paper co-authored with James Vreeland (Princeton University), which examines the influence of Japan vis-à-vis the United States on African states through the African Development Bank (AfDB). Using panel data on AfDB loans to each state between 1995 and 2015, the authors test the relationship between bilateral political interests and the size of AfDB loans using three measures, UN voting alignment, bilateral aid, and bilateral trade. Their two-way fixed effects model yields statistically significant positive relationships on all three measures for Japan but not the United States. Additional interviews with executives at the AfDB point to Japan’s dominance of co-financing arrangements between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the AfDB. Their findings suggests that Japan may be shaping loan distributions at the AfDB through these channels.

Yusaku Horiuchi (Dartmouth College) and Christopher Kilby (Villanova University) offered insightful comments on alternative explanations and suggestions on model specifications. During the Q&A session, participants furthered discussions on the theory and alternative empirical strategies.

The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS: