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

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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Paper provided by UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy in its series Working papers with number 1007.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:uce:wpaper:1007
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  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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