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How Productive is Public Capital? A Meta-Analysis

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  • Pedro R. D. Bom
  • Jenny Ligthart

Abstract

The paper analyzes the contribution of public capital to private output using several meta-analytical techniques. Both fixed and random effects models are estimated by Weighted Least Squares. Sample overlap across studies is explicitly controlled for by employing a ‘full’ Generalized Least Squares estimator. The weighted average output elasticity of public capital amounts to 0.08 after correcting for publication bias. A substantial part of the heterogeneity across studies is explained by study design parameters, such as econometric specification, estimation technique, empirical model, type of public capital, and level of aggregation of public capital data. The large elasticities of public capital found in the early literature seem to be caused by either unidentified (but present) cointegrating relationships or spurious relationships in national time series.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2206.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2206

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Keywords: public capital; infrastructure; public investment; meta-analysis; meta-regression analysis; publication bias;

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References

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  1. Alicia H. Munnell, 1991. "Is there a shortfall in public capital investment? An overview," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 23-35.
  2. Alicia H. Munnell, 1992. "Policy Watch: Infrastructure Investment and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 189-198, Fall.
  3. Ruud A. de Mooij & Sjef Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," CESifo Working Paper Series 588, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Eisner, Robert, 1994. "Real government saving and the future," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 111-126, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Justin van der Sluis & Mirjam van Praag & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Entrepreneurship Selection and Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-046/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 24 Sep 2004.
  7. Bajo-Rubio, Oscar & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simon, 1993. "Does public capital affect private sector performance? : An analysis of the Spanish case, 1964-1988," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 179-185, July.
  8. T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  9. David A. Aschauer, 1989. "Public investment and productivity growth in the Group of Seven," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Sep, pages 17-25.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Pasqualino Montanaro, 2012. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Infrastructures: A Literature Review and Empirical Analysis on the Case of Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
  2. Yongzheng Liu & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2011. "Public Input Competition, Stackelberg Equilibrium and Optimality," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1123, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  3. Bom, Pedro R.D. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2014. "Public infrastructure investment, output dynamics, and balanced budget fiscal rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 334-354.
  4. Lars P. Feld & Jost Henrich Heckemeyer, 2009. "FDI and Taxation: A Meta-Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 2540, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Pedro Gomes & Francois Pouget, 2008. "Corporate Tax Competition and the Decline of Public Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2384, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Yongzheng Liu & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2014. "Public Input Competition under Stackelberg Equilibrium: A Note," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1402, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  7. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Brage-Ardao, Ruben, 2013. "The productivity of transport infrastructure investment: A meta-analysis of empirical evidence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 695-706.
  8. Gomes, Pedro & Pouget, Francois, 2008. "Corporate tax competition and the decline of public investment," Working Paper Series 0928, European Central Bank.
  9. Pellervo Hamalainen, 2009. "Review of literature on the productivity of public capital," Discussion Papers 55, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  10. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2009. "A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 332-342, May.
  11. Jon Nelson & Peter Kennedy, 2009. "The Use (and Abuse) of Meta-Analysis in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 345-377, March.

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