IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/unt/jnapdj/v14y2007i1p1-24.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The nexus between achieving the Millennium Development Goals and economic growth: the role of policy

Author

Listed:
  • Hiren Sarkar

    () (Chief of the Development Policy Section, Poverty and Development Division, ESCAP)

Abstract

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is increasingly being accepted as a major development objective in Asian and Pacific countries. In this paper, it is argued that, in order to fulfill this objective, attention needs to be paid to the nexus between achieving the Goals and economic growth. Pro-growth MDGs are as important as pro-MDG growth. Appropriate macroeconomic and sectoral policies can help in achieving both objectives. In line with pro-poor economic growth and the pro-poor sectors, the concepts of pro-MDG economic growth and MDG economic sectors are introduced. The MDG sectors are agriculture and construction, which are traditional pro-poor sectors, three infrastructure sectors, namely transport, energy and water, and two social infrastructure sectors, health and education. The relevance of these sectors for achieving MDGs and as growth engines is discussed. In this regard, the contours of an MDG-consistent computable general equilibrium model, which can evaluate the effectiveness of alternate policy packages in fulfilling the dual objectives are cited. The role of policies and institutions in achieving MDGs is further investigated through an analysis of the track record of selected Asian and Pacific countries in implementing macroeconomic policies as well as the progress they are making towards achieving the Goals. Using a tracking exercise, it is shown that the MDG areas which need priority attention are underweight children, maternal mortality, carbon dioxide emissions, malnourishment and infant mortality. Through a corresponding exercise comparing macroeconomic indicators for the on-track and off-track countries it is found that the priority of the off-track group of countries is increasing financial inclusiveness, improving the expenditure on the education-to-GDP ratio and increasing the ratio of direct tax-to-total tax. While the policies leading to increases in the last two indicators will directly increase resources in two important MDG areas, health and education, those which will improve the financial inclusiveness index, leading to financial deepening, will help the off-track countries to benefit from globalization and sustain enhanced inclusive economic growth. This will go a long way towards helping countries to achieve the Goals. Altering the tax structure from an emphasis on indirect tax is a well-known pro-poor stance and will also contribute positively to such achievements.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiren Sarkar, 2007. "The nexus between achieving the Millennium Development Goals and economic growth: the role of policy," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 14(1), pages 1-24, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:unt:jnapdj:v:14:y:2007:i:1:p:1-24
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/apdj-14-1-1-Sarkar_0.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unt:jnapdj:v:14:y:2007:i:1:p:1-24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division, ESCAP). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/escapth.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.