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The Impact of Economic Variables on the Social Dimension of Development: Education and Health

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Investment in human capital is crucial for poverty reduction and has a positive impact on economic growth and human development. This study analyses the impact of public policy on human development as measured in terms of public spending on education and health in 11 ESCWA countries during the period 1975-2002. It compares achievements in human development across these countries by testing the statistical relationship between the indicators of human development in these countries and their per capita GDP, and through cross-section time-series panel data model. The study shows that economic growth is not enough to improve human development and achieve the MDGs, and that increases in spending should be targeted at those that need them most, namely, the poor.