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Prioritizing Expenditures for a Recovery for All: A Rapid Review of Public Expenditures in 126 Developing


  • Isabel Ortiz

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)

  • Jingqing Chai

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)

  • Matthew Cummins

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)

  • Gabriel Vergara

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)


This working paper examines the extent to which fiscal consolidation is occuring in 2010-11 among 126 low and middle-income countries, and the potential risks for children and poor households at a time when economic recovery is fragile and uneven. Using fiscal projection data published by the IMF, the paper finds that a significant number of countries is expected to contract aggregate government spending in 2010-11. This is of concern both in terms of GDP (44% of the sample is tightening) as well as in the real value of total government expenditures (25% of the countries). The paper identifies common adjustment measures considered by policy makers, such as wage bill cuts/caps, reducing subsidies and targeting social protection, and highlights their potentially negative social impacts. Financing options for equitable social spending are explored. The paper concludes by questioning if the projected fiscal adjustment trajectory in a number of countries -- in terms of timing, scope and pace -- is conducive to adequately protecting vulnerable households and achieving development goals such as the MDGs.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabel Ortiz & Jingqing Chai & Matthew Cummins & Gabriel Vergara, 2010. "Prioritizing Expenditures for a Recovery for All: A Rapid Review of Public Expenditures in 126 Developing," Working papers 1007, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
  • Handle: RePEc:uce:wpaper:1007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christina Paxson & Norbert Schady, 2007. "Cognitive Development among Young Children in Ecuador: The Roles of Wealth, Health, and Parenting," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Bruno Martorano, 2012. "Development Policies and Income Inequality in Selected Developing Regions, 1980–2010," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 210, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    2. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Stefano Rosignoli & Luca Tiberti, 2011. "The Impact of the Food and Financial Crises on Child Mortality: The case of sub-Saharan Africa," Papers inwopa633, Innocenti Working Papers.

    More about this item


    fiscal consolidation; public expenditures; social spending; crisis recovery; poverty; wage bill; food subsidies; social protection;

    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs


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