Basic Needs, Government Debt and Economic Growth

World Economy (Impact Factor: 0.69). 06/2009; 32(6):965-994. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2009.01181.x
Source: RePEc


This paper investigates the relationships between basic needs and economic growth where the interactions between output, health, nutrition and education are explicitly simultaneous. We find a unidirectional relationship that improving basic welfare contributes strongly to labour productivity change, but a clear reverse causation only from growth to nutrition. There are substantial differences in the patterns of simultaneous interactions at different income and welfare levels. There are strong self-reinforcing effects of literacy and debt service on poverty, making it difficult for poor countries to rectify their situation. Channelling resources towards improving health, education and nutrition could bring dramatic economic returns. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Available from: Samuel Perlo-Freeman
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