Roads to Prosperity? Assessing the Link between Public Capital and Productivity
AbstractDoes the positive correlation between infrastructure and productivity reflect causation? If so, in which direction? The author finds that, when growth in roads (the largest component of infrastructure) changes, productivity growth changes disproportionately in U.S. industries with more vehicles. That vehicle-intensive industries benefit more from road-building suggests that roads are productive. At the margin, however, road investments do not appear unusually productive. Intuitively, the interstate system was highly productive, but a second one would not be. Road-building thus explains much of the productivity slowdown through a one-time, unrepeatable productivity boost in the 1950s and 1960s.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 89 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Other versions of this item:
- John Fernald, 1997. "Roads to prosperity? assessing the link between public capital and productivity," International Finance Discussion Papers 592, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
- R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1994.
"Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 1-23, March.
- Aschauer, David Alan, 1989.
"Is public expenditure productive?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
- Nadiri, M Ishaq & Mamuneas, Theofanis P, 1994.
"The Effects of Public Infrastructure and R&D Capital on the Cost Structure and Performance of U.S. Manufacturing Industries,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 22-37, February.
- M. Ishaq Nadiri & Theofanis P. Mamuneas, 1991. "The Effects of Public Infrastructure and R&D Capital on the Cost Structure and Performance of U.S. Manufacturing Industries," NBER Working Papers 3887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert Ford & Pierre Poret, 1991. "Infrastructure and Private-Sector Productivity," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 91, OECD Publishing.
- Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 1995.
"Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 165-188, August.
- Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1994. "Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?," International Finance Discussion Papers 463, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Basu, S. & Fernald, J.G., 1993. "Are Apparent Productive Spillovers a Figment of Specification Error," Papers 93-22, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1995. "Are Apparent Productive Spillovers a Figment of Specification Error?," NBER Working Papers 5073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alicia H. Munnell & Leah M. Cook, 1990.
"How does public infrastructure affect regional economic performance?,"
New England Economic Review,
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 11-33.
- Alicia H. Munnell, 1990. "How does public infrastructure affect regional economic performance?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 34, pages 69-112.
- Wolff, Edward N, 1996. "The Productivity Slowdown: The Culprit at Last? Follow-Up on Hulten and Wolff," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1239-52, December.
- Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
- Berndt, Ernst R & Hansson, Bengt, 1992. " Measuring the Contribution of Public Infrastructure Capital in Sweden," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages S151-68, Supplemen.
- Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997.
"Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
- Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Morrison, Catherine J & Schwartz, Amy Ellen, 1996.
"State Infrastructure and Productive Performance,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1095-1111, December.
- Kocherlakota, Narayana R & Yi, Kei-Mu, 1996. "A Simple Time Series Test of Endogenous vs. Exogenous Growth Models: An Application to the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 126-34, February.
- Berndt, Ernst & Hansson, Bengt, 1992. "Measuring the Contribution of Capital in Sweden," Working Paper Series 365, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1994. "Public-Sector Capital and the Productivity Puzzle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 12-21, February.
- David Alan Aschauer, 1990. "Why is infrastructure important?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 34, pages 21-68.
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1993. "State-specific estimates of state and local government capital," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 185-209, April.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.