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Public infrastructure investment and fiscal sustainability in Latin America: incompatible goals?

Author

Listed:
  • Luis Carranza
  • Christian Daude
  • Angel Melguizo

Abstract

Purpose - – This paper aims to understand the relationship in developing countries between fiscal consolidation and public investment – a flexible part of the budget that is easier to cut during consolidation effort, but with potentially negative growth effects. Analyzing in detail the case of Peru, the paper explores alternative fiscal rules and frameworks that might help create fiscal space for infrastructure investment. Design/methodology/approach - – The paper analyses trends in public and total infrastructure investment in six large Latin American economies, in the light of fiscal developments since the early 1980s. In particular, the paper explores the association between fiscal consolidations (improvements in the structural fiscal balance) and public infrastructure investment rates. In the second part, the paper analyzes recent changes in the fiscal framework of Peru and shows how they were conductive in creating additional fiscal space. Findings - – The authors argue that post-crisis fiscal frameworks, notably fiscal rules that are increasingly popular in the region, should not only consolidate the recent progress towards debt sustainability, but also create the fiscal space to close these infrastructure gaps. These points are illustrated in a detailed account of recent developments in the fiscal framework and public investment in the Peruvian case. Originality/value - – The paper contributes new evidence to the literature on fiscal consolidation and the composition of government expenditures. While the literature based on evidence from the 1990s has argued that fiscal consolidation plans in Latin America have almost always led to a significant reduction in public infrastructure investment, the paper finds less clear cut evidence when extending the analysis backwards (1980s) and forwards (2000s). The example of the case of Peru is used to explore fiscal institutions and rules that might be useful for other developing countries that face important infrastructure gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Carranza & Christian Daude & Angel Melguizo, 2014. "Public infrastructure investment and fiscal sustainability in Latin America: incompatible goals?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 29-50, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:41:y:2014:i:1:p:29-50
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    Cited by:

    1. Enrique Alberola & Iván Kataryniuk & Ángel Melguizo & René Orozco, 2018. "Fiscal Policy and the Cycle in Latin America: the Role of Financing Conditions and Fiscal Rules," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 36(85), pages 101-116, April.
    2. -, 2013. "Perspectivas económicas de América Latina 2014: logística y competitividad para el desarrollo," Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1504 edited by Ocde, Enero-Abr.
    3. Sanz Labrador, Ismael & Sanz-Sanz, José Félix, 2013. "Política fiscal y crecimiento económico: consideraciones microeconómicas y relaciones macroeconómicas," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 134, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    4. Pessino, Carola & Izquierdo, Alejandro & Vuletin, Guillermo, 2020. "Better Spending for Better Lives: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Do More with Less," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 9152 edited by Izquierdo, Alejandro -//- Pessino, Carola -//- Vuletin, Guillermo, September.
    5. Antra Bhatt & Claudio Sardoni, 2016. "Public Expenditure and Growth: The Indian Case," Working Papers 7/16, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    6. -, 2014. "Multi-dimensional Review of Uruguay. Volume 1: initial assessment," Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 37080 edited by Cepal, Enero-Abr.
    7. Qiongzhi Liu & Chan Luo, 2019. "The Impact of Government Integrity on Investment Efficiency in Regional Transportation Infrastructure in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(23), pages 1-13, November.
    8. Leno S. Rocha & Frederico S. A. Rocha & Th'arsis T. P. Souza, 2016. "Is the public sector of your country a diffusion borrower? Empirical evidence from Brazil," Papers 1604.07782, arXiv.org.
    9. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Lim, King Yoong, 2018. "Unemployment, growth and welfare effects of labor market reforms," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 19-38.
    10. repec:idb:brikps:7677 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hakhu, Antra Bhatt, 2015. "Productive Public Expenditure and Debt Dynamics: An Error Correction Representation using Indian Data," Working Papers 15/149, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peru; Latin America; Infrastructure; Fiscal policy; Fiscal rules;

    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
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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