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Public Capital and Economic Growth: Issues of Quantity, Finance, and Efficiency

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  • Aschauer, David Alan

Abstract

Over the past decade, a large body of theoretical and empirical research has considered the importance of the quantity of public capital for economic growth. For the most part, the empirical results point to a positive role for public capital in determining steady state levels of output per capita and transitional growth rates. At the same time, other work has pointed out the importance of the means of financing government spending for economic growth, with the empirical results indicating a negative influence of higher government spending (proxying for a higher rate of taxation of private sector economic activities) on economic growth. Finally, there is a budding literature on the importance of the effectiveness, or efficiency, of public capital to the growth process; the limited results in the literature suggest that the effectiveness of use of the public capital stock has a meaningful positive influence on growth. This paper develops a common framework to investigate the importance of all three of these aspects of the provision of public capital for growth in output per worker. The paper includes a simple extension of the neoclassical growth model of Solow (1956) and Swan (1956), and a consideration of the relative importance of the three aspects of public capital: "how much you have," "how you pay for it," and how you use it."

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 48 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 391-406

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:48:y:2000:i:2:p:391-406

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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References

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  1. Barro, R.J. & Mankiw, N.G. & Sala-i-Martin, X., 1992. "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth," Papers 655, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. Nonneman, Walter & Vanhoudt, Patrick, 1996. "A Further Augmentation of the Solow Model and the Empirics of Economic Growth for OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 943-53, August.
  3. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  4. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
  5. David Alan Aschauer, 1997. "Do States Optimize? Public Capital and Economic Growth," Macroeconomics 9711007, EconWPA.
  6. Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence Across States and Regions," Papers 629, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  7. David Alan Aschauer, 1997. "Dynamic Output and Employment Effects of Public Capital," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_191, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  8. Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-80, December.
  10. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  11. Charles R. Hulten, 1996. "Infrastructure Capital and Economic Growth: How Well You Use It May Be More Important Than How Much You Have," NBER Working Papers 5847, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
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  1. Dig We Must
    by in DataPoints on 2008-12-17 17:15:00
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Cited by:
  1. Mogues, Tewodaj & Ayele, Gezahegne & Paulos, Zelekawork & Fan, Shenggen, 2006. "How Effective is Public Spending? Public Investment Composition and Rural Welfare in Ethiopia," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21258, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  2. Pellervo Hamalainen, 2009. "Review of literature on the productivity of public capital," Discussion Papers 55, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  3. Becerril-Torres, Osvaldo U. & Álvarez-Ayuso, Inmaculada C. & Del moral-Barrera, Laura E., 2010. "Do infrastructures influence the convergence of efficiency in Mexico?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 120-137, January.
  4. Carmela Martín & Ismael Sanz, 2003. "Real Convergence and European Integration: The Experience of the Less Developed EU Members," Empirica, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 205-236, September.
  5. Augustin Kwasi Fosu & Yoseph Yilma Getachew & Thomas Ziesemer, 2011. "Optimal public investment, growth, and consumption: Evidence from African countries," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Rafaela Pérez Sánchez, 2004. "Characterizing the Optimal Composition of Government Expenditures," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/81, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  7. Carmela Martin & Francisco J. Velazquez & Bernard Funck, 2001. "European Integration and Income Convergence : Lessons for Central and Eastern European Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13968, March.
  8. Ianchovichina, Elena & Liu, Lili & Nagarajan, Mohan, 2006. "Subnational fiscal sustainability analysis : what can we learn from Tamil Nadu ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3947, The World Bank.
  9. Carmela Martín & Ismael Sanz, 2003. "Consequences of enlargement for European Regional Policy: the spanish viewpoint," European Economy Group Working Papers 27, European Economy Group.
  10. Boopen Seetanah, 2011. "Optimal endowments of transport investment: an empirical analysis for mauritius," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 827-838, May.
  11. Pieper,Ute, 2002. "Patterns of inter-sectoral diffusion of technological growth: income, concentration, and public capital stocks," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  12. Mª Jesús Delgado & Inmaculada Álvarez, 2004. "Technological catch-up in the 15 European Union member states: the role of public and educational capital," European Economy Group Working Papers 31, European Economy Group.
  13. Mario Holzner & Vladimir Gligorov & Edward Christie, 2004. "Infrastructural Needs & Economic Development in Southeastern Europe: The Case of Rail and Road Transport Infrastructure," The wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 060, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  14. Carmela Martin & Francisco J. Velazquez., 2001. "An Assessment of Real Convergence of Less Developed EU Members: Lessons for the CEEC Candidates," European Economy Group Working Papers 5, European Economy Group.
  15. Amanda Carmignani & Francesco Bripi & Raffaela Giordano, 2011. "The quality of public services in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 84, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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