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Haile, Fiseha and Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel (2018) 'Does Social Spending Improve Welfare in Low-income and Middle-income Countries?' Journal of International Development, 30 (3). pp. 367-398.

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Over the past two decades, there has been unprecedented attention to the promotion of human development via government spending in the social sectors as a conditio sine qua non for economic growth and improved aggregate welfare. Yet the existing evidence on the subject remains limited and contested. This paper contributes to the literature by examining the causal effect of government spending on the social sectors (health, education and social protection) on three measures of aggregate welfare: the Human Development Index, the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index and child mortality rates, using longitudinal data from 55 low-income and middle-income countries from 1990 to 2009. We find strong evidence to support the proposition that government social spending has played a significant role in improving aggregate welfare in the developing world. Our results are fairly robust to, inter alia, the method of estimation, the set of control variables and the use of alternative samples and instruments.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Social spending, human development, aggregate welfare, child mortality, developing countries
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
ISSN: 09541748
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2022 13:13
Funders: Other

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