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Public Spending and the Poor

Does public spending help the poor? Are there ways--such as finer targeting--to improve the impact of public spending on the poor? These are the questions at the heart of the research reported in this volume. These are indeed important questions--public spending net of interest payments typically amounts to 20-25 percent of GNP and therefore has the potential to influence poverty significantly. Yet at the same time, demands on limited public resources are increasing, so getting more from less--as in targeting--becomes essential. Although definitive and universal policy conclusions are elusive, the reader who recognizes the complexity of the issues, who is sensitive to the data limitations, and who wants to learn how to make better decisions in the future, will reap enormous benefit from this volume. Contributors are Dominique van de Walle, Amartya Sen, Anthony B. Atkinson, Richard Cornes, Ravi Kanbur, Michael Keen, Matti Tuomala, Mark M. Pitt, Mark R. Rosenzweig, Donna M. Gibbons, Thomas M. Selden, Michael J. Wasylenko, Harold Alderman, Jere R. Behrman, Shahrukh Khan, David R. Ross, Richard Sabot, Sarah J. Jarvis, John Micklewright, Donald Cox, Emmanuel Jimenez, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Frances Stewart, David E. Sahn, Harold Alderman, Martin Ravallion, Gaurav Datt, Margaret E. Grosh, Branko Milanovic, Jeffrey Hammer, Ijaz Nabi, James Cercone, Simon Appleton, and Paul Collier.
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"A thorough , high-quality, scholarly examination of a wide range of important issues surrounding the topic of the impact of public expenditures in developing economies on the poor...The central issies which this book focuses on are very important. Numerous studies--including the useful set of contributions provided in this book--provide ample evidence of the apparently perverse impact of much public spending. Most observers think that more effort should be put into the design of public spending programs so that the schemes are more effective in reaching the poor."--'Asian-Pacific Economic Literature'

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