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Implications of the External Debt-servicing Constraint for Public Health Expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu

Abstract

The paper explores the implications of the external debt-servicing constraint for public health spending in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where the health challenges have been great and debt servicing particularly burdensome. Using 1975-94 5-year panel data for 35 African countries, the study finds that although actual debt servicing has little impact, a binding debt-servicing constraint that reflects the debt burden would shift expenditure away from health. Although increases in external aid and constraints on the government executive tend to divert spending in favour of health, the debt-burden effect is dominant. The paper also uncovers an upward trend in public health spending, a result that appears to contradict the popular belief that the structural adjustment programmes undertaken in many SSA countries as of the 1980s may have reduced government expenditure on health.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13600810802455112
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 363-377

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:4:p:363-377

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Cited by:
  1. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2011. "Terms of Trade and Growth of Resource Economies: A Tale of Two Countries," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Fosu, Augustin, 2010. "The external debt-servicing constraint and public-expenditure composition in sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 39238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Quattri, Maria & Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 2012. "On the Impact of External Debt and Aid on Public Expenditure Allocation in Sub-Saharan Africa after the Launch of the HIPC Initiative," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2010. "Africa's Economic Future: Learning from the Past," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 62-71, 04.
  5. Drine, Imed & Nabi, M. Sami, 2010. "Public external debt, informality and production efficiency in developing countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 487-495, March.

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