Public Spending and Poverty in Ibero-American Countries

Public Spending and Poverty in Ibero-American Countries

Isadora Sánchez-Torné (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain), Francisco Espasandín-Bustelo (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain) and Macarena Pérez-Suárez (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7888-8.ch016
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide useful information on the two main topics that define it: public spending and poverty. Three objectives are highlighted: 1) to provide a general overview of the concept of poverty and their characteristics; 2) to project, through the consulted literature, a model that explains the determinants of poverty; and 3) to describe, on the basis of aggregate data obtained on the CEPAL website, the situation of public spending (according to the classification by government function) and poverty (population living on less than $1.90 and $3.10/day) in some countries of the Ibero-American territory to show whether there is a significant relationship between public spending and poverty.
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Literature Review

The literature consulted shows that there is no single definition of poverty: 1) poverty is identified with notions such as deprivation, absence or lack (Kaen, 2012); 2) most economic studies have focused their attention on the concepts of insufficient resources or lack of wealth (Acosta, 2009); 3) consensus in relation to considering poverty as the deprivation of essential assets and opportunities to which all human beings are entitled (Batthyány, 2008); 4) four meanings of poverty are identified: absolute or severe, relative, objective and subjective deprivation (Lara & Cornejo, 2008); 5) epiphenomenon that is governed by other phenomena so that relative poverty will always exist, their eradication is unfeasible (Unwin, 2007).

In relation to the area of knowledge that studies poverty, Garcia del Junco and Espasandín-Bustelo (2018) conclude the following evidence: There is no single definition of poverty; it tends to be studied from the point of view of the income; it has various characteristics (complex, multidimensional, dynamic, adjustable and heterogeneous); the material object of poverty is individuals (households/families/state); the paradigms used are the one-dimensional approach and the multidimensional approach; and in the field of poverty measurement, it is possible to measure incidence or extent, intensity, inequality and duration or dynamism.

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