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Patterns of public health expenditures and efficiency in Africa : implications for policy


Human development is broadly defined as a process of enlarging people's choices, as well as raising the level of well being. Theoretically, these choices can be infinite and vary over time and space. Among these, the choice to lead a long and healthy life; the choice to acquire knowledge and be educated; and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living are identified as three most critical and socially valuable (Human Development Report, 2005).
Human development indicators in Sudan and Ethiopia are still below ambitions. In particular, Sudan with (HDI = 0.516) in 2004 is among the less six medium human development countries, while Ethiopia with (HDI = 0.371) ranks among the lowest eight countries in the world in terms of human resources development.
Many economists have stated that spending on social sectors has a significant role to play in promoting human development. The explanatory variables incorporated in our empirical model include expenditure on health as percentage of GDP, expenditure on education as percentage of GDP, and GDP growth rate. For the case of Sudan, due to lack of detailed data, expenditure on health and education is captured through expenditure on social servicies. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) technique is used for estimation purposes.
The results reveal that for the case of Sudan, expenditure on social servicies as a percentage of GDP is statistically significant while economic growth variable is not. On the other hand, for Ethiopia case, expenditure on health and GDP growth rate are found to be insignificant, while expenditure on education is the only significant single variable for enhancing human development.
The study recommends allocating more resources in the government budgets to social infrastructure (health and education) so as to improve human capabilities for better life and increased productivity

Corporate Author: 
Getnet Alemu and Edilegnaw Wale (Editor) & Ethiopian Economic Association/Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute
Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 

public health

Geographic Descriptors: 
Cataloge Date: 
Broad Subject heading: 
Social Sector - Health
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2009
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Publication date: 
2013-12-27 23:09:00
Forum or Discussion date: 
2013-02-27 15:02:13
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: 
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