The Budget and Education Jayati Ghosh

Forget the massive and overblown promises to farmers and on health insurance, which were not covered by any budgetary provisions.  Ignore the supposed increases in rural development spending, which are all to be met through “extra-budgetary and non-budgetary sources”. Disregard the declared concern for rural areas, the poor and women, which has translated into next to nothing in terms of actual allocations. The real story of this Union Budget is not to be found in the verbose rhetoric of the Finance Minister’s speech or in the supposedly “big ticket” items, which amount more to a manifesto of the ruling party…

Austerity Measures Threaten Children and Poor Households : Recent Evidence in Public Expenditures from 128 Developing Countries Isabel Ortiz, Jingqing Chai and Matthew Cummins

In the wake of the food, fuel and financial shocks, a fourth wave of the global economic crisis began in 2010, viz., fiscal austerity. Updating earlier research by UNICEF, this working paper examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 128 developing countries, comparing the three periods of 2005-07 (pre-crisis), 2008-09 (fiscal expansion) and 2010-12 (fiscal contraction). It discusses the possible risks of the adjustment measures for social expenditures and summarises a series of alternative policy options. poor_households (Download the full text in PDF format)

Prioritizing Expenditures for a Recovery for All Isabel Ortiz, Jingqing Chai, Mathew Cummins, Gabriel Vergara

This UNICEF paper examines government expenditure projections for 126 low and middle income countries and their potential implications for children and poor households during the ongoing fragile economic recovery. While recognizing the importance of macroeconomic stability, the paper questions if the projected fiscal adjustment trajectory in a number of countries is conducive to the objective of protecting vulnerable households and the achievement of development goals such as the MDGs. (Financing options for pro-poor social spending are also explored). unicef (Download the full text in PDF format)

Neoliberalism, Investment and Growth in Latin America Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar

The recent experience of most economies in Latin America contradicts the argument that neoliberal market-oriented policies are necessary for increasing investment and growth, even if they may have harmful effects on distribution and social sectors. This calls for a serious reconsideration of the idea that such policies are necessary for higher investment and more economic growth. Neoliberalism (Download the full text in PDF format)