The debate on the state of public finance in Italy views development aid more as a cost than as opportunity (especially if compared to other, politically-laden, expenditures such as in welfare). Nonetheless, there are costs to non-cooperation also for the donor and a reduction in aid tends to harm a donor’s position in the international system, in terms of prestige, political influence, commercial interests.
The paper intends to calculate the costs of non-cooperation for Italy in terms of a reduction in its export. The study quantifies the returns of aid to Italian exports as 0.93 euro every euro spent in development assistance. A reduction in aid will therefore have a sizeable impact on the promotion of Italian exports.