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The growth-poverty convergence agenda: Optimizing social expenditures to maximize their impact on agricultural labor productivity, growth, and poverty reduction in Africa

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  • Badiane, Ousmane
  • Ulimwengu, John

Abstract

The need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has raised the profile of social sector investments in Africa and other developing countries. As a result, many African countries are pressured to emphasize short-term concerns related to the symptoms of poverty at the expense of the longer-term needs to raise productivity and incomes, and thereby tackle the real roots of poverty. Because of scarce budget resources, there is a major challenge for African governments in terms of ensuring the necessary consistency of policies and strategies to promote long-term economic growth, raise smallholder productivity, achieve food security, and reduce poverty, while providing the social services that respond to immediate welfare requirements. The main objective of the convergence agenda exposed in this paper is to identify strategies that would allow developing countries to improve the management of public expenditures so as to raise the chances of meeting the income growth and social needs of their populations under tight budget constraints. In this paper we have (1) discussed the terminology used in describing the problem being studied and formulated the assumptions and hypotheses underlying the research; (2) defined a typology of growth–poverty pathways; (3) developed metrics to measure the strength of the relationship between growth and poverty reduction; (4) laid out the theory for the measurement of the degree of convergence of public expenditures on social services, that is, the extent to which they are optimized with respect to their impact on labor productivity and growth; and (5) outlined models for (a) the quantification of social services availability at the local level using a single-score concept, (b) the evaluation of the quality and efficiency of public expenditures in social services sectors in rural areas, and (c) the optimization of public expenditures allocation to maximize the impact on growth and poverty reduction; as well as (6) provided initial evidence proving the validity of the theory of convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Badiane, Ousmane & Ulimwengu, John, 2009. "The growth-poverty convergence agenda: Optimizing social expenditures to maximize their impact on agricultural labor productivity, growth, and poverty reduction in Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 906, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:906
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    Cited by:

    1. Mogues, Tewodaj & Yu, Bingxin & Fan, Shenggen & Mcbride, Linden, 2012. "The impacts of public investment in and for agriculture: Synthesis of the existing evidence," IFPRI discussion papers 1217, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Sulser, T. B., 2009. "Green and blue water accounting in the Limpopo and Nile basins: implications for food and agricultural policy," IWMI Working Papers H042476, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Sene, Ligane Massamba & Badiane, Ousmane, 2015. "Out-of-pocket health payments: a catalyst for agricultural productivity growth, but with potentially impoverishing effects," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212261, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Allen, Summer L. & Badiane, Ousmane & Ulimwengu, John M., 2012. "Government expenditures, social outcomes, and marginal productivity of agricultural inputs: a case study for Tanzania," IFPRI discussion papers 1172, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Wouterse, Fleur, 2011. "Social services, human capital, and technical efficiency of smallholders in Burkina Faso:," IFPRI discussion papers 1068, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Séne, Ligane & Cissé, Momath, 2014. "Local government spending and multidimensional poverty in Senegal: insight from the fuzzy approach," MPRA Paper 58602, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Sep 2014.
    7. McNamara, Paul E. & Ulimwengu, John M. & Leonard, Kenneth L., 2010. "Do health investments improve agricultural productivity?," IFPRI discussion papers 1012, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Jean-Marc MONTAUD & Mahamadou Roufahi TANKARI, 2013. "When social goals meet economic goals: the double dividend of extending free access to healthcare in Uganda," Working Papers 2012-2013_8, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Jul 2013.

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    Keywords

    Poverty; Expenditure; Social services; Convergence; Agriculture; Poverty overhang; Growth deficit; Public investment;

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