Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Government Programs and Poverty

Wodon, Quentin (2001): Government Programs and Poverty. Published in: Mexico: A Comprehensive Development Agenda for the New Era (September 2001): pp. 569-616.

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The strategy of the Zedillo Administration for the reduction of poverty relied on both broad-based social expenditures and targeted poverty programs. Broad-based social expenditures are devoted to the areas of social security and healthcare, education, job training, and housing. Targeted poverty programs focus on investing in the human capital of the poor, promoting income and employment opportunities for the poor, and improving the physical infrastructure of poor areas. Public funding for targeted programs has increased much faster over the last dozen years than the programmable budget. Within targeted spending, half of the funds are devoted to human capital, a third to physical infrastructure, and the rest to income opportunities. This paper is based on the poverty assessment for Mexico completed by the World Bank. It evaluates the impact of government programs and policies on poverty. After summarizing the key findings through 10 strategic questions, the paper reviews broad-based social expenditure and government programs targeted to the poor.

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