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Implications of the External Debt-servicing Constraint for Public Health Expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu

Abstract

The paper explores the implications of the external debt-servicing constraint for public health spending in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where the health challenges have been great and debt servicing particularly burdensome. Using 1975-94 5-year panel data for 35 African countries, the study finds that although actual debt servicing has little impact, a binding debt-servicing constraint that reflects the debt burden would shift expenditure away from health. Although increases in external aid and constraints on the government executive tend to divert spending in favour of health, the debt-burden effect is dominant. The paper also uncovers an upward trend in public health spending, a result that appears to contradict the popular belief that the structural adjustment programmes undertaken in many SSA countries as of the 1980s may have reduced government expenditure on health.

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  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2008. "Implications of the External Debt-servicing Constraint for Public Health Expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 363-377.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:4:p:363-377
    DOI: 10.1080/13600810802455112
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:lje:journl:v:19:y:2015:i:1:p:71-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Augustin Fosu, 2010. "The External Debt-Servicing Constraint and Public-Expenditure Composition in Sub-Saharan Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 22(3), pages 378-393.
    3. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2010. "Africa's Economic Future: Learning from the Past," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 62-71, April.
    4. Drine, Imed & Nabi, M. Sami, 2010. "Public external debt, informality and production efficiency in developing countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 487-495, March.
    5. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2011. "Terms of Trade and Growth of Resource Economies: A Tale of Two Countries," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. Quattri, Maria A. & Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 2012. "On The Impact Of External Debt And Aid On Public Expenditure Allocation In Sub-Saharan Africa After The Launch Of The Hipc Initiative," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126879, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ajay Tandon & Lisa Fleisher & Rong Li & Wei Aun Yap, 2015. "Reprioritizing Government Spending on Health: Pushing an Elephant up the Stairs?," Working Papers id:7050, eSocialSciences.
    9. Sadia Shabbir & Hafiz M. Yasin, 2015. "Implications of Public External Debt for Social Spending: A Case Study of Selected Asian Developing Countries," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 71-103, Jan-June.

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