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Factor mobility, government debt and the decline in public investment

  • Friedrich Heinemann


This paper tries to explain the declining level of public investment in OECD countries. The theoretical framework hints to the relevance of a number of demand and supply factors – ranging from the yield of public investment to institutions like the EU deficit limits. The econometric results indicate that the decline is largely due to two developments: First to the pile-up of public debt since the 70s which in the 90s severely restricted ability to finance new investment. Second to the increasing mobility of factors that has added to the financing difficulties. In contrast to that neither the privatisation process nor EU deficit restrictions of the Maastricht Treaty can explain the decline.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Economics and Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 11-26

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Handle: RePEc:kap:iecepo:v:3:y:2006:i:1:p:11-26
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  1. Jan-Egbert Sturm, 1998. "Public Capital Expenditure in OECD Countries," Books, Edward Elgar, number 1500, April.
  2. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  3. Hettich, W. & Winer, S.L., 1993. "The Political Economy of Taxation," Papers 8, Carleton - Business Administration.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," NBER Working Papers 2759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert A. J. Dur & Ben D. Peletier & Otto H. Swank, 1999. "Voting on the Budget Deficit: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1377-1381, December.
  7. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Heinemann, Friedrich & Winschel, Viktor, 2001. "Public deficits and borrowing costs: the missing half of market discipline," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Günther G. Schulze & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 1999. "Globalisation of the Economy and the Nation State," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 295-352, 05.
  10. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco, 2000. "Public investment, the Stability Pact and the ‘golden rule’," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 207-229, June.
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