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Regional Macroeconomic Outcomes Under Alternative Arrangements for the Financing of Urban Infrastructure

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  • James Giesecke
  • Peter B. Dixon
  • Maureen T. Rimmer

Abstract

Many studies have found that the economic benefits from investment in urban infrastructure are substantial. In Australia, much of the responsibility for the provision of urban infrastructure rests with regional governments. Throughout the1990's many of these governments embarked on a program of fiscal restraint, seeking to restore financial positions weakened by exposure to failed government enterprises. A large proportion of this fiscal adjustment appears to have been borne by spending on public infrastructure. Today, regional government policy attention is again focussing on public infrastructure. In spite of the now robust fiscal positions of Australia's regional governments, they remain reluctant to finance infrastructure through debt, and raising the rates of existing taxes is perceived as politically unpopular. Instead, governments are exploring alternative financing instruments, such as developer charges and public-private partnerships. This paper uses a dynamic multi-regional CGE model (MMRF) to evaluate the regional macroeconomic consequences of four methods of financing a program of regional government infrastructure provision. The methods are developer charges, debt, payroll tax and residential rates. We demonstrate that the net gains from a program of urban infrastructure development are quite sensitive to the chosen financing means. The net gains tend to be greatest under rates and debt financing, and least under developer charges.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre in its series Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers with number g-152.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Publication status: Published in Papers in Regional Science, Vol 87(1), March 2008, pp. 3-31.
Handle: RePEc:cop:wpaper:g-152

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Keywords: multi-regional CGE; dynamic CGE; infrastructure finance; regional policy;

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  1. Otto, Glenn & Voss, Graham M, 1994. "Public Capital and Private Sector Productivity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(209), pages 121-32, June.
  2. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Naqvi, Farzana & Peter, Matthew W, 1996. "A Multiregional, Multisectoral Model of the Australian Economy with an Illustrative Application," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(66), pages 94-113, June.
  4. W. Jill Harrison & K.R. Pearson, 1994. "Computing Solutions for Large General Equilibrium Models Using GEMPACK," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers ip-64, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
  5. Matthew W. Peter & Mark Horridge & G.A.Meagher & Fazana Naqvi & B.R.Parmenter, 1996. "The Theoretical Structure of MONASH-MRF," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers op-85, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
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