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Public Expenditures, Growth, and Poverty: Lessons from Developing Countries

by Shenggen Fan Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 272 pages
AU$62.00 NZ$63.48
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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.
'This is an excellent, readable and useful book because its contributors are highly qualified, its contents are important and useful, and it is carefully and extensively researched. The volume is enthusiastically recommended.' -- Robert L. Curry, Jr., ASEAN Economic Bulletin
Shenggen Fan is the director of the International Food Policy Research Institute's Development Strategy and Governance Division. He is the coeditor of The Dragon and the Elephant and the author of numerous articles about agricultural and economic development.