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Public Capital Formation and Labor Productivity Growth in Argentina

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  • Ramirez, M.D.

Abstract

This paper addresses the important question of whether public investment spending on economic infrastructure enhances economic growth and labor productivity in Argentina. Following the lead of the endogenous growth literature, it presents a simple modified production function that explicitly includes the positive or negative externality effects generated by public investment. Using cointegration analysis, the paper estimates a dynamic labor productivity function for the 1960-2005 period that incorporates the impact of public and private investment spending and the labor force (rather than the rate of population growth). The results suggest that (lagged) increases in public investment spending on economic infrastructure(as opposed to overall public investment spending( have a positive and significant effect on the rate of labor productivity growth. In addition, the model is estimated for a shorter period (1970-2005) to capture the impact of foreign direct investment. The estimates suggest that foreign direct investment spending has a lagged positive and significant impact on labor productivity growth, while increases in the labor force have a negative effect . Thus, the findings call into question the politically expedient policy in many Latin American countries, including Argentina during the 1990s, of disproportionately reducing public capital expenditures to meet reductions in the fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Euro-American Association of Economic Development in its journal Applied Econometrics and International Development.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:eaa:aeinde:v:9:y:2009:i:1_10

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  1. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  2. Ramirez, Miguel D., 1998. "Does public investment enhance labor productivity growth in Chile? A cointegration analysis," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 45-65.
  3. Luiz de Mello, 1997. "Foreign direct investment in developing countries and growth: A selective survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 1-34.
  4. Joshua Greene & Delano Villanueva, 1991. "Private Investment in Developing Countries: An Empirical Analysis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(1), pages 33-58, March.
  5. Pastor, Manuel Jr., 1989. "Current account deficits and debt accumulation in Latin America: Debate and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 77-97, July.
  6. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Werner Baer & Pedro Elosegui & Andres Gallo, 2002. "The Achievements and Failures of Argentina's Neo-liberal Economic Policies," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 63-85.
  8. J. M. Albala-Bertrand & E. C. Mamatzakis, 2001. "Is public infrastructure productive? Evidence from Chile," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 195-198.
  9. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
  10. Cardoso, Eliana, 1993. "Private Investment in Latin America," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(4), pages 833-48, July.
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