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Austerity Measures Threaten Children and Poor Households: Recent Evidence in Public Expenditures from 128 Developing Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Isabel Ortiz
  • Matthew Cummins

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)

Abstract

In the wake of the food, fuel and financial shocks, a fourth wave of the global economic crisis began to sweep across developing countries in 2010: fiscal austerity. Serving as an update of earlier research by UNICEF, this working paper: (i) examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 128 developing countries, comparing the three periods of 2005-07 (pre-crisis), 2008-09 (crisis phase I: fiscal expansion) and 2010-12 (crisis phase II: fiscal contraction); (ii) discusses the possible risks for social expenditures; (iii) assesses the most common adjustment measures being considered by developing countries in 2010-11 and their potentially adverse impacts on vulnerable populations; and (iv) summarizes a series of alternative policy options that are available to governments to expand fiscal space and ensure a Recovery for All, including children and poor households.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabel Ortiz & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Austerity Measures Threaten Children and Poor Households: Recent Evidence in Public Expenditures from 128 Developing Countries," Working papers 1107, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
  • Handle: RePEc:uce:wpaper:1107
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    File URL: http://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/files/Austerity_Measures_Threaten_Children.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor, 2001. "Does inflation matter for growth?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 405-428, December.
    2. Max Gillman & Mark N. Harris & László Mátyás, 2004. "Inflation and growth: Explaining a negative effect," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 149-167, January.
    3. Burdekin, Richard C.K. & Denzau, Arthur T. & Keil, Manfred W. & Sitthiyot, Thitithep & Willett, Thomas D., 2004. "When does inflation hurt economic growth? Different nonlinearities for different economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 519-532, September.
    4. Vaona, A. & Schiavo, S., 2007. "Nonparametric and semiparametric evidence on the long-run effects of inflation on growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 452-458, March.
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    6. Isabel Ortiz & Jingqing Chai & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Escalating Food Prices: The threat to poor households and policies to safeguard a Recovery for All," Working papers 1101, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    7. Ugo Panizza, 2008. "Domestic And External Public Debt In Developing Countries," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 188, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    8. Kevin Gallagher & Roberto Porzecanski, 2009. "China and the Latin America Commodities Boom: A Critical Assessment," Working Papers wp192, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    9. Isabel Ortiz, 2007. "Social Policy," Policy Notes 6, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    10. Dilip Ratha, 2006. "Leveraging remittances for development," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, pages 173-185.
    11. Lora, Eduardo & Olivera, Mauricio, 2007. "Public debt and social expenditure: Friends or foes?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 299-310, December.
    12. Ardeshir Sepehri & Saeed Moshiri, 2004. "Inflation-Growth Profiles Across Countries: Evidence from Developing and Developed Countries," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 191-207.
    13. Raphael A Espinoza & Ananthakrishnan Prasad & Gene L. Leon, 2010. "Estimating The Inflation–Growth Nexus—A Smooth Transition Model," IMF Working Papers 10/76, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Isabel Ortiz & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Global Inequality: Beyond the Bottom Billion – A Rapid Review of Income Distribution in 141 Countries," Working papers 1105, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    15. Isabel Ortiz & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Austerity Measures Threaten Children and Poor Households: Recent Evidence in Public Expenditures from 128 Developing Countries," Working papers 1107, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    16. Bick, Alexander, 2010. "Threshold effects of inflation on economic growth in developing countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 126-129, August.
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    18. Rob Gregory & Christian Henn & Brad Mcdonald & Mika Saito, 2010. "Trade And The Crisis: Protect Or Recover," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 165-181.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2012. "The New Structuralist Macroeconomics and Income Inequality," Working Papers - Economics wp2012_25.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    2. Isabel Ortiz & Jingqing Chai & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Identifying Fiscal Space:Options for Social and Economic Development for Children and Poor Households in 184 Countries," Working papers 1108, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    3. Ilene Grabel, 2012. "Financial Architectures and Development: Resilience, Policy Space, and Human Development in the Global South (revised June 2012)," Working Papers wp281_revised, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal consolidation; fiscal contraction; austerity measures; public expenditures; social spending; crisis recovery; poverty; wage bill; food and energy subsidies; pension reform; 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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