On the Effects of Public Investment on Private Investment: What Crowds in What?
This article provides an empirical investigation of the effects of public investment on the evolution of private investment in the United States. It is based on the impulse response analysis associated with vector auto-regressive (VAR) estimates. The empirical results suggest that at the aggregate level, public investment crowds in private investment. Disaggregating private investment shows that the crowding-in effect of public investment is strong for equipment and only marginal for structures. This crowding-in effect on private equipment is particularly strong in the cases of industrial equipment and transportation equipment. In fact, public investment marginally crowds out private investment in information equipment. A final look at the effects of different types of public investment on the different types of private investment suggests that in about one third of the cases, public investment variables crowd out private sector variables. More important, the aggregate results often hide a wide diversity of effects.
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