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Goals for development : history, prospects and costs

  • Devarajan, Shantayanan
  • Miller, Margaret J.
  • Swanson, Eric V.
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    The Millennium Development Goals set quantitative targets for poverty reduction and improvements in health, education, gender equality, the environment, and other aspects of human welfare. At existing rates of progress many countries will fall short of these goals. However, if developing countries take steps to improve their policies and increased financial resources are made available, significant additional progress toward the goals is possible. The suthors provide a preliminary estimate of the additional financial resources which would be required if countries would work vigorously toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Two estimates of the resource gap are developed, one by estimating the additional resources necessary to increase economic growth so as to reduce income poverty, the other by estimating the cost of meeting specific goals in health, education, and the environment. Both estimates yield a figure in the range of $40-$70 billion in additional assistance per year, which is in line with estimates from other international development agencies and which would roughly represent a doubling of official aid flows over 2000 levels. While the authors believe this is a reasonable first approximation of the costs associated with achieving the Millennium Development Goals, it should be interpreted with caution for several reasons, including the lack of empirical data in many countries to estimate the relationship between expenditures on health or education and related outcomes, or the relationship between investment and growth, the sensitivity of the results to changes in the policy environment (both at the macroeconomic and sector level, and with respect to international trade), and opportunities for increased-and more efficient-domestic resource mobilization.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2819.

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    Date of creation: 30 Apr 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2819
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    1. Filmer, Deon & Hammer, Jeffrey S & Pritchett, Lant H, 2000. "Weak Links in the Chain: A Diagnosis of Health Policy in Poor Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 199-224, August.
    2. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    3. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2001. "Can the World Cut Poverty in Half? How Policy Reform and Effective Aid Can Meet International Development Goals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1787-1802, November.
    4. Datt, Gaurav, 1998. "Computational tools for poverty measurement and analysis," FCND discussion papers 50, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
    6. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 125-139, March.
    7. Martin Ravallion, 2003. "Measuring Aggregate Welfare in Developing Countries: How Well Do National Accounts and Surveys Agree?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 645-652, August.
    8. Lawrence Haddad & Harold Alderman & Simon Appleton & Lina Song & Yisehac Yohannes, 2003. "Reducing Child Malnutrition: How Far Does Income Growth Take Us?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 107-131, June.
    9. Easterly, William, 1999. "The ghost of financing gap: testing the growth model used in the international financial institutions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 423-438, December.
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