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Economic Development and Environmental SustainabilityNew Policy Options$
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Ramón López and Michael A. Toman

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199298009.001.0001

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Structural Adjustment and Sustainable Development

Structural Adjustment and Sustainable Development

(p.154) 5 Structural Adjustment and Sustainable Development
Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability

López Ramón

Michael A. Toman

Oxford University Press

Empirical studies show extraordinarily high rates of return to investments in human and environmental public goods. This chapter demonstrates empirically, however, that the majority of governments in developing countries fail to invest sufficiently in public goods such as research and development, human capital, and the management of the environment. Such underinvestment causes a major distortion that partially explains the triple curse of slow growth, large social inequities and poverty, and environmental destruction that has typified most developing countries over recent decades. The chapter examines the contribution of IMF and World Bank supported structural adjustment, such as fiscal deficit reduction, privatization of state enterprises, and trade liberalization, in the light of the above framework. Rather than analyzing how each of the reforms may affect the environment, the chapter focuses on whether structural adjustment is likely to correct the under investment in human capital and environmental capital discussed above, and whether there are specific policies within structural adjustment that are likely to particularly affect such under investment.

Keywords:   research and development, human capital, public goods, environmentally sustainable growth, human public goods, environmental public goods

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