Article | Journal of Political Economy | October 2006

How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations

by Ilyana Kuziemko and Eric D. Werker

Abstract

Ten of the fifteen seats on the U.N. Security Council are held by rotating members serving two-year terms. We find that a country's U.S. aid increases by 59 percent and its U.N. aid by 8 percent when it rotates onto the council. This effect increases during years in which key diplomatic events take place (when members' votes should be especially valuable) and the timing of the effect closely tracks a country's election to, and exit from, the council. Finally, the U.N. results appear to be driven by UNICEF, an organization over which the United States has historically exerted great control.

Keywords: Foreign aid; Governance; Value;

Citation:

Kuziemko, Ilyana, and Eric D. Werker. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations." Journal of Political Economy 114, no. 5 (October 2006): 905–930. (Reprinted in Geopolitics of Foreign Aid, ed. Helen Milner and Dean Tingley. Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2013.)