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Public Capital Formation and Labor Productivity Growth in Argentina

Author

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  • Ramirez, M.D.

Abstract

This paper addresses the important question of whether public investment spending on economic infrastructure enhances economic growth and labor productivity in Argentina. Following the lead of the endogenous growth literature, it presents a simple modified production function that explicitly includes the positive or negative externality effects generated by public investment. Using cointegration analysis, the paper estimates a dynamic labor productivity function for the 1960-2005 period that incorporates the impact of public and private investment spending and the labor force (rather than the rate of population growth). The results suggest that (lagged) increases in public investment spending on economic infrastructure(as opposed to overall public investment spending( have a positive and significant effect on the rate of labor productivity growth. In addition, the model is estimated for a shorter period (1970-2005) to capture the impact of foreign direct investment. The estimates suggest that foreign direct investment spending has a lagged positive and significant impact on labor productivity growth, while increases in the labor force have a negative effect . Thus, the findings call into question the politically expedient policy in many Latin American countries, including Argentina during the 1990s, of disproportionately reducing public capital expenditures to meet reductions in the fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramirez, M.D., 2009. "Public Capital Formation and Labor Productivity Growth in Argentina," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:eaa:aeinde:v:9:y:2009:i:1_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    2. Pastor, Manuel Jr., 1989. "Current account deficits and debt accumulation in Latin America: Debate and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 77-97, July.
    3. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
    4. Joshua Greene & Delano Villanueva, 1991. "Private Investment in Developing Countries: An Empirical Analysis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(1), pages 33-58, March.
    5. Ramirez, Miguel D., 1998. "Does public investment enhance labor productivity growth in Chile? A cointegration analysis," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 45-65.
    6. Werner Baer & Pedro Elosegui & Andres Gallo, 2002. "The Achievements and Failures of Argentina's Neo-liberal Economic Policies," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 63-85.
    7. Cardoso, Eliana, 1993. "Private Investment in Latin America," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(4), pages 833-848, July.
    8. Ram, Rati & Zhang, Kevin Honglin, 2002. "Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Growth: Evidence from Cross-Country Data for the 1990s," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 205-215, October.
    9. J. M. Albala-Bertrand & E. C. Mamatzakis, 2001. "Is public infrastructure productive? Evidence from Chile," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 195-198.
    10. Ram, Rati, 1996. "Productivity of public and private investment in developing countries: A broad international perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 1373-1378, August.
    11. Luiz de Mello, 1997. "Foreign direct investment in developing countries and growth: A selective survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 1-34.
    12. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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