Poverty and (under)development are the subjects of this book. While the focus is on urban poverty, the principal themes running throughout the book apply as well to rural poverty. The book traces the roots of the Philippine-poverty problem to industrialization and spatial policies that unduly encouraged concentration of infrastructure and social services in major urban centers; to trade and macroeconomic policies that severely penalized agriculture, labor-intensive exports, and small- to medium-scale manufacturing establishments; to public spending policies that accorded little attention to human capital formation for the poor; and to the lack of strong complementarity of state and market. Taking into account economic constraints and political economy considerations, the book discusses ways on how to enhance pro-poor, pro-market, and pro-growth policies, particularly those aimed at correcting disincentives against rapid employment expansion, balanced urban-rural growth, and human capital formation.
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