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Expenditure incidence in Africa: microeconomic evidence

  • David E. Sahn
  • Stephen D. Younger

In this paper, we examine the progressivity of social sector expenditures in eight sub-Saharan African countries. We employ dominance tests, complemented by extended Gini/concentration coefficients, to determine whether health and education expenditures redistribute resources to the poor. We find that social services are poorly targeted. Among the services examined, primary education tends to be most progressive and university education is least progressive. The benefits associated with hospital care are also less progressive than other health facilities. Our results also show that, while concentration curves are a useful way to summarise information on the distributional benefits of government expenditures, statistical testing of differences in curves is important.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 329-347

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:21:y:2000:i:3:p:329-347
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  1. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-56, December.
  2. DAVIDSON, Russell & DUCLOS, Jean-Yves, 1995. "Statistical Inference for the Measurement of the Incidences of Taxes and Transfers," Cahiers de recherche 9521, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  3. David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 1999. "Dominance Testing of Social Sector Expenditures and Taxes in Africa," IMF Working Papers 99/172, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Sahn, David E & Younger, Stephen D & Simler, Kenneth R, 2000. "Dominance Testing of Transfers in Romania," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(3), pages 309-27, September.
  5. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1983. "On an Extension of the Gini Inequality Index," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 617-28, October.
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