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Is public capital productive in Europe?

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Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of whether and by how much public investment or public capital can enhance economic performance. In comparison with the literature on the subject, we apply many different methodologies to answer these questions. A VAR model (for France, Italy, Germany, the UK and the USA), a panel composed of 6 European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) and a regional panel (French regions) are therefore estimated. Public investment is shown to be a significant determinant of output; this is also true for public capital but to a lesser extent than public investment with a VAR methodology. The size of the estimated coefficient is also more realistic than those obtained in the literature. This empirical result confirms that the focus of some economists on safeguarding the level of public investment is not misplaced. The debate on the introduction of a “golden rule of public finance” in EMU is legitimate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2006-10.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0610

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Keywords: public capital; VAR model; panel; European economies;

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References

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  1. Jérôme Creel, 2003. "Ranking Fiscal Policy Rules: the Golden Rule of Public Finance vs. the Stability and Growth Pact," Sciences Po publications 2003-04, Sciences Po.
  2. Bovenberg, A L & de Jong, A H M, 1997. "The Road to Economic and Monetary Union," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 83-109.
  3. van Aarle, Bas & Garretsen, Harry, 2003. "Keynesian, non-Keynesian or no effects of fiscal policy changes? The EMU case," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 213-240, June.
  4. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2003. "Reinventing Fiscal Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_381, Levy Economics Institute.
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  8. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco, 2000. "Public investment, the Stability Pact and the ‘golden rule’," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 207-229, June.
  10. Gilbert Colletaz & Christophe Hurlin, 2006. "Threshold Effects of the Public Capital Productivity : An International Panel Smooth Transition Approach," Working Papers halshs-00008056, HAL.
  11. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ercolani, Valerio, 2002. "Cyclical and Structural Deficits on the Road to Accession: Fiscal Rules for an Enlarged European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Michael Bleaney & Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller, 2001. "Testing the endogenous growth model: public expenditure, taxation, and growth over the long run," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 36-57, February.
  13. Federico Bonaglia & Eliana La Ferrara & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2000. "Public Capital and Economic Performance: Evidence from Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 59(2), pages 221-244, September.
  14. Alan S. Blinder, 2000. "Central-Bank Credibility: Why Do We Care? How Do We Build It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1421-1431, December.
  15. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  16. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Thomas Dalsgaard & Alain de Serres, 1999. "Estimating Prudent Budgetary Margins for 11 EU Countries: A Simulated SVAR Model Approach," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 216, OECD Publishing.
  18. Richard H. Clarida, 1993. "International Capital Mobility, Public Investment and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jérôme Creel & Paul Hubert & Francesco Saraceno,, 2013. "Assessing future sustainability of french public finances," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2013-11, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  2. Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Pasqualino Montanaro, 2012. "Network effects of public transport infrastructure: evidence on Italian regions," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 869, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Linus Mattauch & Jan Siegmeier & Ottmar Edenhofer & Felix Creutzig, 2013. "Financing Public Capital through Land Rent Taxation: A Macroeconomic Henry George Theorem," CESifo Working Paper Series 4280, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Pedro R.D. Bom & Jenny E. Ligthart, 2009. "How Productive is Public Capital? A Meta-Regression Analysis," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0912, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  5. 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.
  6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p5488g8pn is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Sergio Jiménez Ramírez & Jaime Sanaú Villarroya, 2011. "Infraestructuras y productividad industrial en Colombia," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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