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Toward More Efficient and Effective Public Social Spending in Central America

Pablo Acosta (), Rita Almeida (), Thomas (Tim) Gindling () and Christine Lao Pena

No 26659 in World Bank Publications from The World Bank

Abstract: Central America has come a long way both in terms of economic and political stability. Increasingly the region is focusing on implementing productivity-enhancing reforms as well as supporting reductions in poverty and inequality. This report analyzes recent trends in public social spending in Central America from 2007 to 2014, conducts international benchmarking, examines measures of the effectiveness and efficiency of social spending, and discusses the quality of selected institutions influencing this spending. We examine total social spending, as well as detailing its four components: public spending on the education, health, and social protection and labor (SPL) sectors. In analyzing public social spending, the report addresses three crucial policy issues: (a) how to improve the coverage and redistributional incidence of public social spending; (b) how to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public social spending; and (c) how to strengthen the institutions governing public spending in the social sector. While based heavily on a series of recent analytical social spending studies in six countries in the subregion—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama—this report also takes a broader regional perspective and includes some comparisons to countries in other regions.

Keywords: Education - Education Finance Health; Nutrition and Population - Health Economics & Finance Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Economic Policy; Institutions and Governance Poverty Reduction - Access of Poor to Social Services Social Protections and Labor - Labor Policies Social Protections and Labor - Social Protections & Assistance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4648-1060-2
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