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The productivity of public capital: Evidence from Japan's 1994 electoral reform

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  • Kawaguchi, Daiji
  • Ohtake, Fumio
  • Tamada, Keiko

Abstract

This paper estimates the causal effect of public capital stock on Production, using Japanese prefectural data. We first articulate the difficulty of consistently estimating the regional-level production function with public capital that results from the endogeneity of the public capital stock amount. The public capital amount could be endogenous because of the central government's political decision-making process of public capital allocation or the local government's budgetary constraints. Japan's electoral reform in 1994 offers an exogenous variation in the public capital investment across regions, and we exploit this event to estimate the causal effect of public capital on production. The reform drastically changed the distribution of political representation in the Lower House across regions, and it accordingly changed the allocation of public capital across regions as well. We cannot reject the null hypothesis that public capital is not productive based on the estimates from this natural experimental identification strategy.

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  • Kawaguchi, Daiji & Ohtake, Fumio & Tamada, Keiko, 2009. "The productivity of public capital: Evidence from Japan's 1994 electoral reform," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 332-343, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:23:y:2009:i:3:p:332-343
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Víctor Adame & Javier Alonso & Luisa Pérez & David Tuesta, 2017. "Infrastructure & economic growth from a meta-analysis approach: do all roads lead to Rome?," Working Papers 17/07, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    2. Iwata, Yasuharu, 2013. "Two fiscal policy puzzles revisited: New evidence and an explanation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 188-207.
    3. Anca-Stefania Sava & Bogdan-Gabriel Zugravu, 2010. "Analysis of the Correlations Between Public Capital Investments and Economic Development in Romania," Studies and Scientific Researches. Economics Edition, "Vasile Alecsandri" University of Bacau, Faculty of Economic Sciences, issue 15.
    4. Higashikata, Takayuki, 2013. "Factor decomposition of income inequality change : Japan's regional income disparity from 1955 to 1998," IDE Discussion Papers 400, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

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