Agricultural Productivity, Health and Public Expenditures in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Summer L Allen
  • John Ulimwengu
Original Article


National governments are forced to make difficult budget allocations regarding the provision of various social services. The wide-ranging effects of these choices are often not fully understood. In particular, farm-level decisions regarding investments and input allocation are likely dependent on government allocations; not accounting for these may bias the estimation of marginal productivity of agricultural inputs. In this article, we capture the impact of social expenditures on health outcomes through a structural equation model, and use a state variable approach to model marginal productivity of agricultural inputs as a function of health outcomes. This study uses agricultural production data from FAO, annual precipitation on agricultural land (compiled by USDA) and IFPRI’s unique panel of public expenditure data. It covers nine countries in Sub-Saharan Africa from 1990 until 2002. The results show that there is a positive relationship between health expenditures and the marginal productivity of agricultural inputs.


agricultural productivity state variable health expenditures water social expenditures Sub-Saharan Africa 


Les gouvernements nationales sont toujours obliges à prendre des choix difficiles dans l’allocation des budgets pour la provision de services sociaux. La gamme d’effets que ces choix suscitent n’est pas complètement comprise. Spécifiquement, les choix au niveau de la ferme, en matière d’investissements et d’allocation d’apports, dépendent des allocations du gouvernement ; ne pas prendre ceci en compte peut préjuger les estimations de productivité marginale des apports agriculturals. Dans cette étude, nous utilisons une modèle d’équation structurale pour analyser l’impact des dépenses sociales sur la sante, et un approche variable d’état pour étudier la productivité marginale des apports agriculturals en fonction des données sur la sante. Cette étude utilise les donnes FAO sur la production agriculturale, données USDA sur la précipitation annuelle en terrains agricoles, et les donnes uniques des panels IFPRI sur les dépenses publiques. On étude neuf pays en Afrique sub-saharienne entre 1990 et 2002. Les résultats montrent que il y a une relation positive ente les dépenses sur la santé et la productivité marginale des apports agriculturals.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Food Policy Research InstituteWashington DCUSA

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