Does Increasing Public Spending in Health Improve Health? Lessons from Constitutional Reform in Brazil

Damian Clarke, associate professor of economics at the University of Exeter and the University of Chile, joining the symposium via Zoom, presented his research on the outcome of Brazil's constitutional amendment in 2000, which made it mandatory that municipalities spend at least 15% of their budgets on public health. He found that shifts and increases in spending translated into increases in primary care coverage and moderate improvements in birth outcomes.

Global spending on health more than doubled in real terms since the turn of the century. Perhaps surprisingly, there is little evidence on how effective public health expenditure is in improving health outcomes.
Damian Clarke
Associate Professor of Economics
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