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Social Spending and Human Development in Selected West African Countries


  • iheoma, nonso


The fundamental focus of economic development is the development of the human person, and over the years, there has been a common consensus among development economists on the efficacy of social services in achieving this objective. But, as is the case in advanced countries, is social spending capable of ensuring human development in developing countries? This study aims at providing answers to this question using Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal as case studies. The study adopts the fixed effect partial adjustment model and regresses the human development index on health and education spending across these countries for a period of 10 years (2000 – 2010) for each country, estimated using the ordinary least square. Results show that while health spending is significant in explaining human development in these countries both in the short and long runs, education spending is not. Therefore, it is recommended that in order to ensure the continued development of the human capital in these countries, increased funding of the health sector is necessary. Furthermore, ensuring adequate utilization of education sector allocation and enhancing the availability and accessibility of education services especially to the urban poor and rural dwellers will address the disconnect between education spending and human development.

Suggested Citation

  • iheoma, nonso, 2012. "Social Spending and Human Development in Selected West African Countries," MPRA Paper 42139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42139

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herrera, Santiago & Pang, Gaobo, 2005. "Efficiency of public spending in developing countries : an efficiency frontier approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3645, The World Bank.
    2. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2001. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    human development; social spending; health; education;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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