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The effectiveness of government expenditure on education and health care in the Caribbean

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  • Roland Craigwell
  • Danielle Bynoe
  • Shane Lowe

Abstract

Purpose – Investment in human development is considered a means of improving the quality of life and sustaining economic growth in the Caribbean. The purpose of this paper is to assess the efficacy of public spending on health care and education by evaluating the life expectancy and school enrolment rates of these countries. Design/methodology/approach – Using a data set containing 19 Caribbean countries over the period 1995 to 2007 for health care and 1980 to 2009 for education, a Panel Ordinary Least Squares model was employed. Findings – The results revealed that health expenditure has a significant positive effect on health status, while spending on education has no appreciable influence on either primary or secondary school enrolment. Originality/value – Unlike previous Caribbean research, the paper explores a variable for quality in the education system, that is, the pupil-teacher ratio. It also seeks to update the existing Caribbean literature by employing data from 1980 to 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Development Issues.

Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 4-18

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:11:y:2012:i:1:p:4-18

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Related research

Keywords: Caribbean; Education; Government policy; Health care; Panel OLS; Public finance; Public spending;

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References

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  1. Mark C. Berger & J. Paul Leigh, 1989. "Schooling, Self-Selection, and Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 433-455.
  2. Lee, J.-W. & Barro, R.J., 1998. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," Papers 659, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  3. T. Paul Schultz, 1993. "Investments in the Schooling and Health of Women and Men: Quantities and Returns," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 694-734.
  4. Judson, Ruth, 1998. " Economic Growth and Investment in Education: How Allocation Matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 337-59, December.
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  14. Emanuele Baldacci & Maria Teresa Guin-Siu & Luiz De Mello, 2003. "More on the effectiveness of public spending on health care and education: a covariance structure model," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 709-725.
  15. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
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Cited by:
  1. Khalid Zaman & Bashir Khilji, 2014. "A note on pro-poor social expenditures," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 2121-2154, July.

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