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Public expenditure and growth in developing countries: education is the key

  • Mohammad Haque
  • Niloy Bose
  • Denise R. Osborn

This paper examines the growth effects of government expenditure for a panel of thirty developing countries over the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, with a particular focus on sectoral expenditures. Our methodology improves on previous research on this topic by explicitly recognising the role of the government budget constraint and the possible biases arising from omitted variables. Our primary results are twofold. Firstly, the share of government capital expenditure in GDP is positively and significantly correlated with economic growth, but current expenditure is insignificant. Secondly, at the sectoral level, government investment and total expenditures in education are the only outlays that are significantly associated with growth once the budget constraint and omitted variables are taken into consideration. Therefore, we conclude that education is the key to growth for developing countries.

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Paper provided by Money Macro and Finance Research Group in its series Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 with number 41.

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Date of creation: 27 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc03:41
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