Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Roads to prosperity or bridges to nowhere? theory and evidence on the impact of public infrastructure investment

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sylvain Leduc
  • Daniel Wilson

Abstract

We examine the dynamic macroeconomic effects of public infrastructure investment both theoretically and empirically, using a novel data set we compiled on various highway spending measures. Relying on the institutional design of federal grant distributions among states, we construct a measure of government highway spending shocks that captures revisions in expectations about future government investment. We find that shocks to federal highway funding has a positive effect on local GDP both on impact and after 6 to 8 years, with the impact effect coming from shocks during (local) recessions. However, we find no permanent effect (as of 10 years after the shock). Similar impulse responses are found in a number of other macroeconomic variables. The transmission channel for these responses appears to be through initial funding leading to building, over several years, of public highway capital which then temporarily boosts private sector productivity and local demand. To help interpret these findings, we develop an open economy New Keynesian model with productive public capital in which regions are part of a monetary and fiscal union. We show that the presence of productive public capital in this model can yield impulse responses with the same qualitative pattern that we find empirically.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/papers/2012/wp12-04bk.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2012-04.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2012-04

Contact details of provider:
Postal: P.O. Box 7702, San Francisco, CA 94120-7702
Phone: (415) 974-2000
Fax: (415) 974-3333
Email:
Web page: http://www.frbsf.org/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Email:

Related research

Keywords: Infrastructure (Economics) ; Public investments;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2009. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," SERC Discussion Papers 0030, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu‐Chun Susan Yang, 2013. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 1115-1145, 05.
  4. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
  5. Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti, 2008. "Fiscal Policy, Wealth Effects, and Markups," NBER Working Papers 14584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
  7. Antonio Acconcia & Giancarlo Corsetti & Saverio Simonelli, 2011. "Mafia and Public Spending: Evidence on the Fiscal Multiplier from a Quasi-experiment," Economics Working Papers ECO2011/12, European University Institute.
  8. Giavazzi, Francesco & McMahon, Michael, 2012. "The Household Effects of Government Spending," CEPR Discussion Papers 8846, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Leigh, Andrew & Neill, Christine, 2011. "Can national infrastructure spending reduce local unemployment? Evidence from an Australian roads program," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 150-153.
  10. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2011. "Did the Stimulus Stimulate? Real Time Estimates of the Effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," NBER Working Papers 16759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2011. "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from U.S. Regions," NBER Working Papers 17391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," NBER Working Papers 15394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gordon, Nora, 2004. "Do federal grants boost school spending? Evidence from Title I," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1771-1792, August.
  14. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 16311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2009. "Using stock returns to identify government spending shocks," Working Paper Series WP-09-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  17. Roberto Perotti, 2007. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 13143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh, 2010. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1016, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "Fiscal spending multipliers: evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Working Paper Series 2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  20. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2011. "Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 16951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 703-18, September.
  22. Singhal, Monica, 2006. "Special Interest Groups and the Allocation of Public Funds," Working Paper Series rwp06-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  23. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  24. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  25. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
  26. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," NBER Working Papers 6737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  28. Chandra, Amitabh & Thompson, Eric, 2000. "Does public infrastructure affect economic activity?: Evidence from the rural interstate highway system," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 457-490, July.
  29. Byron Lutz, 2010. "Taxation with Representation: Intergovernmental Grants in a Plebiscite Democracy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 316-332, May.
  30. Kevin J. Lansing, 1998. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model with Public Capital," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 337-364, May.
  31. Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Fiscal Spending Jobs Multipliers: Evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 251-82, August.
  32. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1994. "Public-Sector Capital and the Productivity Puzzle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 12-21, February.
  33. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
  34. John F. Cogan & John B. Taylor, 2010. "What the Government Purchases Multiplier Actually Multiplied in the 2009 Stimulus Package," NBER Working Papers 16505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
  36. Baicker, Katherine, 2001. "Government decision-making and the incidence of federal mandates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 147-194, November.
  37. Alfredo M. Pereira, 2000. "Is All Public Capital Created Equal?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 513-518, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel Wilson, 2013. "Are state governments roadblocks to federal stimulus? Evidence from highway grants in the 2009 Recovery Act," Working Paper Series 2013-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. repec:fip:fedfsp:y:2012:i:oct15 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Kuralbayeva, Karlygash, 2013. "Optimal fiscal policy and different degrees of access to international capital markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 336-352.
  4. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Should transportation spending be included in a stimulus program? a review of the literature," Working Paper Series 2012-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2012-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Diane Rosenberger).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.