Public expenditures, growth, and poverty in developing countries

Lessons from developing countries

Shenggen Fan, ed.

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.

1 Introduction 1 DAVID COADY AND SHENGGEN FAN 2 Public Spending in Developing Countries: Trends, Determination, and Impact 20 SHENGGEN FAN, BINGXIN YU, AND ANUJA SAURKAR 3 Public Investment, Growth, and Rural Poverty 56 SHENGGEN FAN AND NEETHA RAO 4 Human Capital Expenditures for the Poor 109 DAVID COADY 5 Social Safety Nets 147 DAVID COADY 6 Public Spending, Growth, and Poverty Alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Dynamic General-Equilibrium Analysis 184 HANS LOFGREN AND SHERMAN ROBINSON 7 Lessons Learned: Major Findings and Policy Implications 225 SHENGGEN FAN AND ANNIE WHITE Contributors 241 Index 243