A Comparative Analysis of Government Social Spending Indicators and Their Correlation with Social Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa


Paulo Silva Lopes

Publication Date:

October 1, 2002

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper analyzes trends in social indicators in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and their correlation with the three most widely used scaled measures of government social spending: in per capita terms, as a percentage of GDP, and as a percentage of total government expenditure. On the basis of a regional data set matching health and education outcome indicators with government spending on those sectors, cross-country statistical analysis shows spending both per capita and as a percent of GDP to be of some relevance to social outcomes, but not the share of social spending in budgetary allocations. The policy implications concern not only governments in the region, but also the international donor community for its role in supporting social programs in SSA.


Working Paper No. 2002/176



Publication Date:

October 1, 2002



Stock No:




Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org