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Public Capital and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey

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  • Ward Romp
  • Jakob De Haan

Abstract

This article provides an overview of both theoretical and empirical literature on the link between public investment (capital) and economic growth (national income). We first survey the channels through which public capital can conceivably affect growth. We then turn to reviewing the existing empirical literature, and we conclude that although not all studies find a growth‐enhancing effect of public capital, there is now more consensus than in the past that public capital furthers economic growth. However, the impact reported by recent studies is not as big as some earlier studies suggested. We conclude with an overview of what is known about the optimality of public capital stocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Ward Romp & Jakob De Haan, 2007. "Public Capital and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(S1), pages 6-52, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:perwir:v:8:y:2007:i:s1:p:6-52
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2516.2007.00242.x
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    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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