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Political Economy of Public Capital Formation in Japan


  • Haruo KONDOH

    (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University and Senior Fellow, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance)


This paper investigates public investment policy (mainly from the 1980s onwards) with a political-economic approach. The points of this paper are as follows. First, at the macro level, it is possible that the short-term fluctuation of public investment has been controlled by the government party's political incentive to win an election rather than in order to dampen economic fluctuations. Second, as for regional allocation, up to 1993 when the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) stepped down from government, the LDP had had a great influence on public investment allocation; however, following such a government alternation the influence of local special interest groups may have become stronger. Focusing on the local side, empirical analysis of the public investment function considering political-economic factors clarifies that local public investment policy has been deeply affected by the construction industry as a local interest group (which is heavily dependent on public investment in general), and that levels of public investment have not been determined in the way the median voter theorem implies.

Suggested Citation

  • Haruo KONDOH, 2008. "Political Economy of Public Capital Formation in Japan," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 4(1), pages 77-110, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mof:journl:ppr004d

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura & Haruo Kondoh, 2013. "Government Transparency And Expenditure In The Rent-Seeking Industry: The Case Of Japan For 1998–2004," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 635-647, July.
    2. repec:kob:wpaper:1624 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Miyazaki, Tomomi, 2013. "Fiscal Policy and Regional Business Cycle Fluctuations in Japan," Discussion Paper Series 583, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Tomomi Miyazaki & Haruo Kondoh, 2017. "Local Public Investment and Regional Business Cycle Fluctuations in Japan," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 402-410.
    5. Tomomi Miyazaki & Haruo Kondoh, 2016. "Local Public Investment and Regional Business Cycle Fluctuations in Japan," Discussion Papers 1624, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.

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