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Social Rights and Economics: Claims to Health Care and Education in Developing Countries

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  • Gauri, Varun

Abstract

The author analyzes contemporary rights-based and economic approaches to health care and education in developing countries. He assesses the foundations and uses of social rights in development, outlines an economic approach to improving health and education services, and then highlights the differences, similarities, and the hard questions that the economic critique poses for rights. The author argues that the policy consequences of rights overlap considerably with a modern economic approach. Both the rights-based and the economic approaches are skeptical that electoral politics and de facto market rules provide sufficient accountability for the effective and equitable provision of health and education services, and that further intrasectoral reforms in governance, particularly those that strengthen the hand of service recipients, are needed. There remain differences between the two approaches. Whether procedures for service delivery are ends in themselves, the degree of disaggregation at which outcomes should be assessed, the consequences of long-term deprivation, metrics used for making tradeoffs, and the behavioral distortions that result from subsidies are all areas where the approaches diverge. Even here, however, the differences are not irreconcilable, and advocates of the approaches need not regard each other as antagonists.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gauri, Varun, 2004. "Social Rights and Economics: Claims to Health Care and Education in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 465-477, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:32:y:2004:i:3:p:465-477
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marek Hudon, 2009. "Should Access to Credit be a Right?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 17-28, January.
    2. Batley, Richard & Mcloughlin, Claire, 2015. "The Politics of Public Services: A Service Characteristics Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 275-285.
    3. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Timofeev, Andrey, 2008. "Regional-local dimension of Russia's fiscal equalization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 157-176, March.
    4. Bert Hofman & Susana Cordeira Guerra, 2004. "Ensuring Inter-regional Equity and Poverty Reduction," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0411, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    5. Bruno Boidin, 2005. "Droit à la santé et coopération internationale : les déficiences institutionnelles," Mondes en développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 129(1), pages 75-92.
    6. Daniel Hojman & Alvaro Miranda, 2015. "Agency, Human Dignity and Subjective Well-Being," Working Papers wp398, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    7. Elisa Giuliani & Chiara Macchi, 2013. "Multinational Corporations’ Economic And Human Rights Impacts On Developing Countries: A Review And Research Agenda," Discussion Papers 2013/158, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Nelson, Paul J., 2007. "Human Rights, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Future of Development Cooperation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2041-2055, December.
    10. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:97-107 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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