Public expenditures, growth, and poverty

Lessons from developing countries

Public Expenditures, Growth, and Poverty assesses the efficacy of poverty reduction programs in Latin America, Africa, and Asia by synthesizing studies conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute over the past ten years. Overall, the studies find that investments in agricultural research, infrastructure, and human capital are beneficial in the long term, while food aid and poverty reduction programs have little utility beyond immediately abating hunger and generating short-run income effects. The book develops a conceptual framework for analyzing public expenditures and their short- and long-run impact on poverty through various channels. It surveys spending trends and analyzes the effect of growing public investment on urban and rural poverty through case studies of India, China, Thailand, and Uganda. And it highlights the advantages of directing spending toward public works programs that engage impoverished peoples rather than using the limited aid money on food subsidies and other passive donations. Featuring discussions about the roles of various social safety net programs and a chapter devoted solely to the vexing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, Public Expenditures, Growth, and Poverty will aid policy makers and encourage further, more analytic study of worldwide poverty reduction programs.

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Fan, Shenggen
Published date: 
Johns Hopkins University Press