Journal Article

Public Social Spending in Africa: Do the Poor Benefit?

Florencia Castro-Leal, Julia Dayton, Lionel Demery and Kalpana Mehra

in The World Bank Research Observer

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 14, issue 1, pages 49-72
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0257-3032
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1564-6971 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wbro/14.1.49
Public Social Spending in Africa: Do the Poor Benefit?

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Education and health care are basic services essential in any effort to combat poverty and are often subsidized with public funds to help achieve that purpose. This paper examines the effectiveness of public social spending on education and health care in several African countries and finds that these programs favor not the poor, but those who are better-off. It concludes that this targeting problem cannot be solved simply by adjusting the subsidy program. The constraints that prevent the poor from taking advantage of these services must also be addressed if the public subsidies are to be effective.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Development Planning and Policy

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