THE ROLE OF SECTARIANISM IN THE ALLOCATION OF PUBLIC EXPENDITURE IN POSTWAR LEBANON
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 October 2010
The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we aim to evaluate the records of executive branches of the Lebanese government that are involved in public social spending in terms of their ability to respond to need. Second, we attempt to uncover the criteria underlying the distribution of public social spending. The allocation of funds across sectors and administrative districts is evaluated according to a vector of the socioeconomic characteristics of each locality thought to be of relevance. We find that the association between need and spending is, at best, very loose. When we use the geographical distribution of spending and voting data from each locality to estimate each religious sect's share of public spending, we find a striking conformity between the sectarian composition of the population and each sect's estimated share of national public spending. The logic of the disbursement of public funds and the mechanism underlying the observed one-man one-dollar distribution rule—a rule with primacy over health, education, and infrastructure needs as well as imbalances across regions—is that distribution be balanced across sects.
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18 As measured by net primary- and secondary-school enrollment.
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