Policy Watch: Infrastructure Investment and Economic Growth
In the late 1980s, David Aschauer (1989) triggered a long overdue dialogue among economists and political leaders when he published a study arguing that much of the decline in U.S. productivity that occurred in the 1970s was precipitated by declining rates of public capital investment. My own work confirmed these results (Munnell, 1990a). Spending advocates seized on these findings as support for increased public investment. The enthusiasm among policymakers for the early Aschauer results was matched, if not surpassed, by skepticism on the part of many economists. Critics of these studies charged that the methodology was flawed, that the direction of causation between public investment and output growth is unclear and that, even if the historical empirical relationships were estimated correctly, they provide no clear indications for current policy. Who's right? What do we know and not know about the link between public infrastructure and productivity? And what are the implications of these results for policy?
Volume (Year): 6 (1992)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
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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.:
- David Aschauer, 1988.
"Is public expenditure productive?,"
88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- David Aschauer, 1988.
"Does public capital crowd out private capital?,"
88-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Clifford Winston, 1991. "Efficient Transportation Infrastructure Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 113-127, Winter.
- John A. Tatom, 1991. "Public capital and private sector performance," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 3-15.
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