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Public investment in developing countries: A blessing or a curse?

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  • Cavallo, Eduardo
  • Daude, Christian

Abstract

This paper analyzes the relationship between public and private investment in developing countries. We set up a simple theoretical model where two countervailing forces coexist. On the one hand, public investment raises the marginal productivity of private capital and leads to potential crowding-in of private investment. On the other hand, weak institutions and restricted access to financing could diminish the positive effects of public investment projects and crowd-out private investment. The empirical results - which exploit both the time series and cross sectional variation in the data using a panel of 116 developing countries with annual observations between 1980 and 2006 - suggest that on average the crowing-out effect dominates. Moreover, we find that this crowing-out effect is dampened (or even reversed) in countries with better institutions - where the marginal productivity of public investment is conceivably higher - and that are more open to international trade and financial flows, such that financing constraints are less binding.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 65-81

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:65-81

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

Related research

Keywords: Public investment Crowding out Institutions Openness;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kwasi Fosu, Augustin & Getachew, Yoseph Yilma & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2011. "Optimal public investment, growth, and consumption: Evidence from African countries," MERIT Working Papers 051, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Ricardo Silva & Vitor Manuel Carvalho & Ana Paula Ribeiro, 2013. "How large are fiscal multipliers? A panel-data VAR approach for the Euro area," FEP Working Papers 500, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  3. Eden, Maya & Kraay, Aart, 2014. ""Crowding in"and the returns to government investment in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6781, The World Bank.
  4. Grigoli, Francesco & Mills, Zachary, 2011. "Do high and volatile levels of public investment suggest misconduct ? the role of institutional quality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5735, The World Bank.
  5. Kwasi Fosu, Augustin & Getachew, Yoseph Yilma & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2011. "Optimal public investment, growth, and consumption: Evidence from African countries," MERIT Working Papers 051, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  6. Diogo Barbosa & Vitor M. Carvalho & Paulo J. Pereira, 2013. "The interaction between firms and Government in the context of investment decisions: a real options approach," FEP Working Papers 507, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  7. Okey K. N. Mawussé, 2013. "Institutions and scientific research in Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(2), pages 1487-1503.
  8. Farla, Kristine & de Crombrugghe, Denis & Verspagen, Bart, 2013. "Institutions, Foreign Direct Investment, and Domestic Investment: crowding out or crowding in?," MERIT Working Papers 054, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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