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Infrastructure and Growth in South Africa: Direct and Indirect Productivity Impacts of 19 Infrastructure Measures

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  • Johannes Fedderke
  • Željko Bogetic

Abstract

Empirical explorations of the growth and productivity impacts of infrastructure have been characterized by ambiguous (countervailing signs) results with little robustness. A number of explanations of the contradictory findings have been proposed. These range from the crowd-out of private by public sector investment, non-linearities generating the possibility of infrastructure overprovision, simultaneity between infrastructure provision and growth, and the possibility of multiple (hence indirect) channels of influence between infrastructure and productivity improvements. This paper explores these possibilities utilizing panel data for South Africa over the 1970-2000 period, and arrange of 19 infrastructure measures. Utilizing a number of alternative measures of productivity, the prevalence of ambiguous (countervailing signs) results, with little systematic pattern is also shown to hold for our dataset in estimations that include the infrastructure measures in simple growth frameworks. We demonstrate that controlling for potential endogeneity of infrastructure in estimation robustly eliminates virtually all evidence of ambiguous impacts of infrastructure, due for example to possible over investment in infrastructure. Indeed, controlling for the possibility of endogeneity in the infrastructure measures renders the impact of infrastructure capital not only positive, but of economically meaningful magnitudes. These findings are in variant between the direct impact of infrastructure on labour productivity, and the indirect impact of infrastructure on total factor productivity.

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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 39.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:39

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Keywords: Growth; productivity; infrastructure; Africa; South Africa;

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Cited by:
  1. Augustin Kwasi Fosu & Yoseph Yilma Getachew & Thomas Ziesemer, 2012. "Optimal Public Investment, Growth, and Consumption: Evidence from African Countries," Working Papers 2012_03, Durham University Business School.
  2. Chandan, Sharma & Bhanumurthy, N R, 2010. "Estimating Infrastructural Investment Needs for India," MPRA Paper 22188, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Richard Newfarmer & William Shaw & Peter Walkenhorst, 2009. "Breaking Into New Markets," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2616, August.
  4. Taryn Dinkelman, 2011. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3078-3108, December.
  5. Bogetic, Zeljko & Olusi, Olasupo, 2013. "Drivers of firm-level productivity in Russia's manufacturing sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6572, The World Bank.
  6. Cosmin Enache, 2009. "Fiscal Policy And Economic Growth In Romania," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 1(11), pages 50.
  7. Cheteni, Priviledge, 2013. "Transport Infrastructure Investment and Transport Sector Productivity on Economic Growth in South Africa (1975-2011)," MPRA Paper 53175, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Jul 2013.
  8. Bogetic, Zeljko & Fedderke, Johannes W., 2006. "International benchmarking of infrastructure performance in the Southern African Customs Union Countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3987, The World Bank.
  9. Chandan Sharma & Sanjay Sehgal, 2010. "Impact of infrastructure on output, productivity and efficiency: Evidence from the Indian manufacturing industry," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(2), pages 100-121, October.

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