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Government expenditures on education, health, and infrastructure : a naive look at levels, outcomes, and efficiency

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  • Estache, Antonio
  • Gonzalez, Marianela
  • Trujillo,Lourdes

Abstract

All interested parties seem to agree that it is important to be able to monitor public sector performance at the sectoral level, but most current work based on multi-country databases does not lend itself to country-specific conclusions. This is due to a large extent to major data limitations both on sectoral expenditures and on sectoral outcomes. This paper discusses the related issues and shows what we can do with the current data inspite of the drastic limitations. The main conclusions of the paper are that any efforts to assess country-specific performances in relative terms are likely to be difficult in view of the data problems. A rough sense of performance across sectors can be estimated for groups of countries, allowing some modest benchmarking exercises. These estimates show that low-income countries generally lag significantly behind higher-income countries. Efficiency has improved during the 1990s in energy and education but has not improved significantly in transport.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4219.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4219

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Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Public Sector Expenditure Analysis&Management; Inequality; Economic Theory&Research; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis;

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  1. Samer Al-Samarrai, 2006. "Achieving education for all: how much does money matter?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 179-206.
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  12. George E. Battese & Greg S. Corra, 1977. "Estimation Of A Production Frontier Model: With Application To The Pastoral Zone Of Eastern Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 21(3), pages 169-179, December.
  13. Herrera, Santiago & Pang, Gaobo, 2005. "Efficiency of public spending in developing countries : an efficiency frontier approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3645, The World Bank.
  14. Karras, Georgios, 1996. "The Optimal Government Size: Further International Evidence on the Productivity of Government Services," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 193-203, April.
  15. António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2005. "Non-parametric approaches to education and health efficiency in OECD countries," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 227-246, November.
  16. Ruwan Jayasuriya & Quentin Wodon, 2003. "Efficiency in Reaching the Millennium Development Goals," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13884.
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Cited by:
  1. Brownbridge, Martin & Canagarajah, Sudharshan, 2008. "Fiscal policy for growth and development in Tajikistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4532, The World Bank.
  2. Chiara Del Bo & Massimo Florio & Silvia Vignetti & Emanuela Sirtori, 2011. "Additionality and regional development: are EU Structural Funds complements or substitutes of national Public Finance?," Working Papers 201101, Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL).
  3. Becerril-Torres, Osvaldo U. & Álvarez-Ayuso, Inmaculada C. & Del moral-Barrera, Laura E., 2010. "Do infrastructures influence the convergence of efficiency in Mexico?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 120-137, January.
  4. Céline CARRERE & Jaime de MELO, 2012. "Fiscal Spending and Economic Growth: Some Stylized Facts," Working Papers P35, FERDI.
  5. Cecilia Briceño-Garmendia & Vivien Foster, 2007. "More Fiscal Resources for Infrastructure? Evidence from East Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7910, The World Bank.

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