ERIC Number: ED329458
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Social Spending in Latin America: The Story of the 1980s. World Bank Discussion Papers No. 106.
Grosh, Margaret E.
This study traces public sector expenditures for nine Latin American countries in the 1980s in order to determine how social services and social well-being fared during the economic stringencies of the decade. The countries included are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Venezuela. The sectors covered are health, education, and social security. Real per capita public social spending on health, education, and social security fell during some part of the 1980s in every country in the study. Numerous efforts to increase the efficiency and equity of social service provision were undertaken, but the data available do not indicate that these efforts were successful. The policy agenda should include a growth oriented strategy, coupled with a high priority for the social sectors in the government budget in order to assure adequate resources to the social sectors. Even with these steps, increased coverage and quality of social service delivery cannot be expected to result primarily from growth in expenditures. Rather, improvements in service delivery must come from increasing the equity and efficiency of resource use. The usual gamut of tools is relevant--priority for primary health and primary education, targeting, cost recovery with provision for exemptions for the poor and for preventive services, decentralization, and institutional development. Better management and monitoring systems are needed in order to evaluate the success of such program changes. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Area Studies, Developing Nations, Economics, Elementary Secondary Education, Financial Policy, Futures (of Society), Public Education, Public Health, Public Policy, Public Sector, Social History, Social Science Research, Social Services
World Bank, Publications Department, J2152, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433 ($9.95).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: World Bank, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Social Security