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Public Social Spending in Africa: Do the Poor Benefit?

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  • Castro-Leal, Florencia
  • Dayton, Julia
  • Demery, Lionel
  • Mehra, Kalpana
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    Abstract

    Education and health care are basic services essential in any effort to combat poverty and are often subsidized with public funds to help achieve that purpose. This paper examines the effectiveness of public social spending on education and health care in several African countries and finds that this targeting problem cannot be solved simply by adjusting the subsidy program. The constraints that prevent the poor from taking advantage of these services must also be addressed if the public subsidies are to be effective. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Research Observer.

    Volume (Year): 14 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 49-72

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:14:y:1999:i:1:p:49-72

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    1. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-61, September.
    2. Aaron, Henry & McGuire, Martin, 1970. "Public Goods and Income Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(6), pages 907-20, November.
    3. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin & DEC, 1994. "Poverty and household size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1332, The World Bank.
    4. Germano Mwabu & Martha Ainsworth & Andrew Nyamete, 1993. "Quality of Medical Care and Choice of Medical Treatment in Kenya: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 838-862.
    5. Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
    6. Alderman, Harold & Lavy, Victor, 1996. "Household Responses to Public Health Services: Cost and Quality Tradeoffs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, February.
    7. Chernichovsky, Dov & Meesook, Oey Astra, 1986. "Utilization of health services in Indonesia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 611-620, January.
    8. Gertler, Paul & Glewwe, Paul, 1990. "The willingness to pay for education in developing countries : Evidence from rural Peru," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 251-275, August.
    9. Glewwe, P. & Jacoby, H., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Cognitive Achivement in Low-Income Countries," Papers 91, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    10. Jere Behrman & James C. Knowles, . "How Strongly is Child Schooling Associated with Household Income?," CARESS Working Papres 97-22, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    11. Lavy, V., 1992. "Investment in Human Capital; Schooling Supply Contraints in Rural Ghana," Papers 93, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    12. Litvack, Jennie I. & Bodart, Claude, 1993. "User fees plus quality equals improved access to health care: Results of a field experiment in Cameroon," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 369-383, August.
    13. Brennan, Geoffrey, 1976. "The Distributional Implications of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 391-99, March.
    14. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1986. "On Measuring Child Costs: With Applications to Poor Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 720-44, August.
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