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Public Social Spending in Africa: Do the Poor Benefit?

  • Castro-Leal, Florencia
  • Dayton, Julia
  • Demery, Lionel
  • Mehra, Kalpana
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    Education and health care are basic services essential in any effort to combat poverty and are often subsidized with public funds to help achieve that purpose. This paper examines the effectiveness of public social spending on education and health care in several African countries and finds that this targeting problem cannot be solved simply by adjusting the subsidy program. The constraints that prevent the poor from taking advantage of these services must also be addressed if the public subsidies are to be effective. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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    File URL: http://www.worldbank.org/research/journals/wbro/obsfeb99/pdf/article3.pdf
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    Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Research Observer.

    Volume (Year): 14 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 49-72

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:14:y:1999:i:1:p:49-72
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    2. Lavy, V., 1992. "Investment in Human Capital; Schooling Supply Contraints in Rural Ghana," Papers 93, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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    4. Aaron, Henry & McGuire, Martin, 1970. "Public Goods and Income Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(6), pages 907-20, November.
    5. Germano Mwabu & Martha Ainsworth & Andrew Nyamete, 1993. "Quality of Medical Care and Choice of Medical Treatment in Kenya: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 838-862.
    6. Chernichovsky, Dov & Meesook, Oey Astra, 1986. "Utilization of health services in Indonesia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 611-620, January.
    7. Brennan, Geoffrey, 1976. "The Distributional Implications of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 391-99, March.
    8. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 5572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jere Behrman & James C. Knowles, . "How Strongly is Child Schooling Associated with Household Income?," CARESS Working Papres 97-22, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    10. Gertler, Paul & Glewwe, Paul, 1990. "The willingness to pay for education in developing countries : Evidence from rural Peru," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 251-275, August.
    11. Alderman, Harold & Lavy, Victor, 1996. "Household Responses to Public Health Services: Cost and Quality Tradeoffs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, February.
    12. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and Household Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1415-34, November.
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    14. Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
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