Public investments have contributed significantly to agricultural growth and rural poverty reduction in rural areas, and to urban poverty reduction through growth in the national economy and lower food prices. Without such investments, agricultural and national economic growth would have been much slower, and many more rural and urban people in developing countries would be poor. Yet, despite these successes, the poor still number about 1 billion, and many developing-country governments still face severe budget constraints. Thus, public resources need to be targeted more effectively to the sectors and regions that can generate the largest economic growth and poverty reduction. This brief presents a synthesis and review of several case studies conducted by IFPRI and its national collaborators to quantify the effects of government spending on both growth and poverty reduction in India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Uganda— countries representing different stages of economic development and, hence, the need for different spending priorities.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)