Chapter

Structural Adjustment and Sustainable Development

López Ramón and Michael A. Toman

in Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780199298006
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603877 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199298009.003.0006

Series: Initiative for Policy Dialogue Series

 Structural Adjustment and Sustainable Development

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Empirical studies show extraordinarily high rates of return to investments in human and environmental public goods. This chapter demonstrates empirically, however, that the majority of governments in developing countries fail to invest sufficiently in public goods such as research and development, human capital, and the management of the environment. Such underinvestment causes a major distortion that partially explains the triple curse of slow growth, large social inequities and poverty, and environmental destruction that has typified most developing countries over recent decades. The chapter examines the contribution of IMF and World Bank supported structural adjustment, such as fiscal deficit reduction, privatization of state enterprises, and trade liberalization, in the light of the above framework. Rather than analyzing how each of the reforms may affect the environment, the chapter focuses on whether structural adjustment is likely to correct the under investment in human capital and environmental capital discussed above, and whether there are specific policies within structural adjustment that are likely to particularly affect such under investment.

Keywords: research and development; human capital; public goods; environmentally sustainable growth; human public goods; environmental public goods

Chapter.  10808 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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