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Public Capital Maintenance, Decentralization, and US Productivity Growth


  • Sarantis Kalyvitis
  • Eugenia Vella


Data published by the US Congressional Budget Office show that over the last fifty years expenditures for infrastructure’s operations and maintenance (O&M) have roughly equalled those for new capital. We use this data set to investigate the productive impact of public infrastructure spending, taking into account its composition for each government level. We find that a rise (fall) in infrastructure expenditures by states and localities (the federal government) would enhance future productivity growth and that the rise in state and local spending should mainly come from additional O&M outlays in the transport sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarantis Kalyvitis & Eugenia Vella, 2011. "Public Capital Maintenance, Decentralization, and US Productivity Growth," Public Finance Review, , vol. 39(6), pages 784-809, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:784-809

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    public capital; maintenance; fiscal decentralization; private productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • 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
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories


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