Human development and decentralization: The importance of public health expenditure

Ronald Miranda-Lescano, Leonel Muinelo-Gallo, Oriol Roca-Sagalés*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we empirically analyze the impact of central and subnational government spending on human development in a sample of 57 developed and developing countries over the period 2000–18. Specifically, we focus on the effects of health and education public expenditure on the Human Development Index (HDI) and its dimensions (life expectancy, education, and income). Applying data panel analysis, our empirical evidence shows the importance of central and subnational government health expenditure positively impacting on HDI and each of its components, while in the case of the education expenditure, this positive effect is only confirmed on the educational dimension of HDI. Our study shows how governments can stimulate human development, improving the well-being of citizens, by allocating more resources to healthcare through the different administrative levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-219
Number of pages29
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2022


  • decentralization
  • government health expenditure
  • human development


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