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Public Financing of Human Development in India: A Review

Sacchidananda Mukherjee () and Shivani Badola

Indian Journal of Human Development, 2021, vol. 15, issue 1, 62-81

Abstract: Role of public financing of human development (HD) is inevitable, especially for developing countries like India where access to resources and economic opportunities are not equitably distributed among people. Governments aim to achieve equity in distribution of resources through allocative and redistributive policies whereas macroeconomic stabilisation policies aim to achieve higher economic growth and stability in the price level. Expenditure policies of the governments envisage in delivering larger public goods and services to enable people to take part in economic activities by investing in human capital and infrastructure developments. Progressivity of the tax system helps in achieving equity by redistribution of resources among people. Being merit goods, expenditures on education, health, and poverty eradication make it a case for public investment which empowers people to improve human capital. The benefit of universal economic participation is expected to contribute in larger mobilisation of public resources over time. Lack of economic opportunities and earning a respectable income may increase dependence on public transfers which may reduce fiscal space of the governments to finance programmes to promote overall economic growth. The objective of this article is to review existing studies on public financing of HD in India and highlight emerging challenges.

Keywords: Public finance; human development; political economy; fiscal decentralisation; inter-governmental fiscal transfers; COVID-19 pandemic (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/09737030211005043

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