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Public Investment and Economic Growth in Latin America: an Empirical Test

Listed author(s):
  • Miguel D. Ramirez


    (Trinity College, Hartford, USA)

  • Nader Nazmi


    (Lake Forest College, Chicago, USA)

The paper analyzes the impact on economic growth of public investment spending and other relevant variables (such as human capital) for nine major Latin American nations over the 1983-93 period. The results suggest that both public and private investment spending contribute to economic growth. Overall central government consumption expenditures, on the other hand, are found to have a negative effect on private investment and growth. Finally, public expenditures on education and healthcare are found to have a positive and statistically significant effect on private capital formation and long-term economic growth. From a policy standpoint, the results suggest that indiscriminate cuts in public and private investment spending are likely to be counterproductive in the long run, and more importantly, scarce public expenditures should be channeled to the promotion of new human capital (via primary and secondary education) and the maintenance of existing human capital (through healthcare expenditures). Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 115-126

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Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:7:y:2003:i:1:p:115-126
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