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Public expenditures, growth, and poverty in developing countries: Lessons from developing countries


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  • Fan, Shenggen


"During the past several decades, developing countries have had mixed results in reducing poverty. While East Asia (particularly China) has achieved astonishing progress in eradicating severe poverty through strong agricultural and overall economic growth, many African countries have experienced an increase in the number of poor. Today, more than 1 billion people still live on less than US$1 per day, and the recent surge in food prices has caused another 100 million people in developing countries to fall into poverty. It is obvious, therefore, that a "business as usual" approach is wholly inadequate. In recognition of the fact that persistent poverty and malnutrition result in irreversible costs to human and economic development, developing countries and the international development community have been intensifying their efforts to increase and redirect resources in order to achieve specific development objectives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, public resources are limited, so prioritization is clearly critical. Policymakers want to know what public spending programs have the largest impact on the poor and how the resources should be allocated among different sectors, such as agriculture, infrastructure, health, and education. In recent years, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has conducted numerous studies related to public spending and its impact on growth and poverty reduction. The findings from those studies have been brought together in a new book, Public Expenditures, Growth, and Poverty: Lessons from Developing Countries (published for IFPRI by the Johns Hopkins University Press and, in South Asia, by Oxford University Press). The approach used in the book differs from previous work in that it considers multiple types of government spending, including investments in agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, and social safety nets; recognizes that investments have a direct impact on poverty reduction through multiple channels; and links the effects of public investment to its overall social benefits and cost, using a computable general equilibrium (CGE) framework." from Text

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series Issue briefs with number 51.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:issbrf:51

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Keywords: Poverty Developing countries; Poverty Developing countries Prevention; Expenditures; Public Developing countries; Developing countries Economic conditions 20th century; Developing countries Economic policy 2000; Economic development Developing countries;

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Cited by:
  1. van Waeyenberge, Elisa & Bargawi, Hannah, 2011. "Macroeconomic policy for "full and productive employment and decent work for all" : Uganda country study," ILO Working Papers 465873, International Labour Organization.
  2. Dorosh, Paul & Thurlow, James, 2012. "Can Cities or Towns Drive African Development? Economy-wide Analysis for Ethiopia and Uganda," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier & Al-Riffai, Perrihan & Engelke, Wilfried & Al-Bataly, Abdulmajeed, 2012. "Managing transition in Yemen: An assessment of the costs of conflict and development scenarios for the future," IFPRI discussion papers 1210, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Ulimwengu, John & Funes, Jose & Headey, Derek & You, Liangzhi, 2009. "Paving the way for development?: The impact of transport infrastructure on agricultural production and poverty reduction in the Democratic Republic of Congo," IFPRI discussion papers 944, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Diao, Xinshen & Nwafor, Manson & Alpuerto, Vida & Akramov, Kamiljon & Salau, Sheu, 2010. "Agricultural growth and investment options for poverty reduction in Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 954, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Headey, Derek & Bezemer, Dirk & Hazell, Peter B., 2008. "Agricultural exit problems: Causes and consequences," IFPRI discussion papers 802, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Antonio Turrent Fernández & Timothy A. Wise & Elise Garvey, 2012. "Achieving Mexico’s Maize Potential," GDAE Working Papers 12-03, GDAE, Tufts University.
  8. Schürenberg-Frosch, Hannah, 2011. "One model fits all? Determinants of transport costs across sectors and country groups," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 122, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  9. Bathla, Seema, 2014. "Public and Private Capital Formation and Agricultural Growth in India: State Level Analysis of Inter-linkages during Pre- and Post-reform Periods," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 27(1).


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