Identifying Fiscal Space: Options for Social and Economic Development for Children and Poor Households in 184 Countries

66 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2011 Last revised: 25 Jan 2012

See all articles by Isabel Ortiz

Isabel Ortiz

United Nations - International Labour Organization (ILO); Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Jingqing Chai

UNICEF

Matthew Cummins

UNICEF

Date Written: October 17, 2011

Abstract

It is often argued that social and economic investments that benefit children and poor households are not affordable or that government expenditure cuts are inevitable during adjustment periods. But there are alternatives, even in the poorest countries.

This working paper offers an array of options that can be explored to expand fiscal space. These include: (i) re-allocating public expenditures, (ii) increasing tax revenues, (iii) lobbying for increased aid and transfers, (iv) tapping into fiscal and foreign exchange reserves, (v) borrowing and restructuring existing debt, and/or (vi) adopting a more accommodative macroeconomic framework. To serve as a general advocacy resource, the annex provides a summary of the latest fiscal space indicators for 182 countries.

Keywords: fiscal space, fiscal consolidation, public expenditures, social spending, crisis recovery, development policy, equity, tax revenues, foreign reserves, official development assistance, government borrowing, debt, expansionary fiscal, monetary policy

JEL Classification: F35, H12, H2, H5, H6, H62, H63, I38, O2, O23

Suggested Citation

Ortiz, Isabel and Chai, Jingqing and Cummins, Matthew, Identifying Fiscal Space: Options for Social and Economic Development for Children and Poor Households in 184 Countries (October 17, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1946006 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1946006

Isabel Ortiz (Contact Author)

United Nations - International Labour Organization (ILO) ( email )

ILO HQ, Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland
+41227996226 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ilo.org/

Initiative for Policy Dialogue ( email )

Columbia University
New York, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://policydialogue.org/programs/taskforces/global_social_justice/

Jingqing Chai

UNICEF ( email )

P. O. Box 4884
New York, NY
United States

Matthew Cummins

UNICEF ( email )

PO Box 44145
Nairobi, Nairobi 00100
Kenya

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