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The Politics of Infrastructure

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  • Crain, W Mark
  • Oakley, Lisa K

Abstract

A number of recent studies attempt to measure the productivity of public capital. Some estimates indicate that government investments are a potential wellspring for economic progress, while others indicate that public infrastructure has a negligible effect on private sector output. This article investigates political institutions and processes underlying the decisions for public infrastructure spending. We apply the framework of strategic models of fiscal policy and develop an empirical model to analyze the substantial differences in public capital across American states. Institutions such as term limits, citizen initiative, and budgeting procedures were significant determinants of state public capital stocks and the flow of new public investments during the 1980s. The results further suggest that political conditions such as legislative stability and voter volatility are systematically related to infrastructure differences across states. Copyright 1995 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:38:y:1995:i:1:p:1-17

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

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Cited by:
  1. Edward López & R. Jewell, 2007. "Strategic institutional choice: Voters, states, and congressional term limits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 137-157, July.
  2. Naveed H. Naqvi, 2002. "Crowding-in or Crowding-out? Modelling the Relationship between Public and Private Fixed Capital Formation Using Co-integration Analysis: The Case of Pakistan 1964-2000," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 41(3), pages 255-276.
  3. Cadot, Olivier & Roller, Lars-Hendrik & Stephan, Andreas, 2006. "Contribution to productivity or pork barrel? The two faces of infrastructure investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1133-1153, August.
  4. Dalle Nogare, Chiara & Ricciuti, Roberto, 2011. "Do term limits affect fiscal policy choices?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 681-692.
  5. David Albouy, 2009. "Partisan Representation in Congress and the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds," NBER Working Papers 15224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Achim Kemmerling & Andreas Stephan, 2001. "The Contribution of Local Public Infrastructure to Private Productivity and Its Political-Economy: Evidence from a Panel of Large German Cities," CIG Working Papers FS IV 01-14, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  7. Fumitoshi Mizutani & Tomoyasu Tanaka, 2010. "Productivity effects and determinants of public infrastructure investment," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 493-521, June.
  8. David Levinson & Ramachandra Karamalaputi, 2003. "Induced Supply: A Model of Highway Network Expansion at the Microscopic Level," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 297-318, September.
  9. Crain, W. Mark & Crain, Nicole Verrier, 1998. "Fiscal consequences of budget baselines," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 421-436, March.
  10. Davide Luca & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Electoral politics and regional development. Assessing the geographical allocation of public investment in Turkey," Working Papers 1402, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
  11. Bodenstein, Thilo and Achim Kemmerling, 2012. "Ripples in a rising tide: Why some EU regions receive more structural funds than others," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 16, 01.
  12. John Lott, 2006. "Campaign finance reform and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 263-300, December.

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