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Benefit Incidence of Public Education and Health Spending Worldwide: Evidence From A New Database

By Hamid R. Davoodi, Erwin R. Tiongson and Sawitree Sachjapinan Asawanuchit

Abstract

This paper compiles a new database on the benefit incidence of public education and health spending covering 56 countries over 1960–2000. The database represents a significant improvement in quality and coverage over existing compilations. First, it covers a broader set of industrial and developing countries. Second, it provides information on benefit incidence over time. Third, the database reports auxiliary identifiers of a benefit incidence analysis, allowing for consistent comparisons within and across countries. The database is used to ascertain which income groups tend to benefit more from social spending. We also explore the relationship between benefit incidence on the one hand and indicators of access to education and health services and social outcomes on the other, using simple measures of association. The paper explores policy implications of these findings. Researchers interested in analyzing the effectiveness of social spending and the role of government would find the database an invaluable tool for further analyses.National Government Expenditures and Related Policies, benefit incidence, public spending on education and health, targeting, progressivity

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