Do Budgets Really Matter? Evidence from Public Spending on Education and Health in Uganda
Ablo and Reinikka demonstrate that budget allocations alone can be misleading in explaining outcomes and making policy decisions, when institutions are weak. They diagnose the problem, using empirical evidence from primary education and health care in Uganda, but arguing that a similar problem exists in many countries. Adequate public accounts are not available so they carried out a field survey of schools and clinics to collect data on spending. Problems with the flow of public funds have to do largely with governance and a lack of accountability.