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Regional productivity variation and the impact of public capital stock: an analysis with spatial interaction, with reference to Spain

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  • Miguel Gómez-Antonio
  • Bernard Fingleton

Abstract

In this article, we examine whether variations in the level of public capital across Spain's Provinces affected productivity levels over the period 1996 to 2005. The analysis is motivated by contemporary urban economics theory, involving a production function for the competitive sector of the economy (‘industry’) which includes the level of composite services derived from ‘service’ firms under monopolistic competition. The outcome is potentially increasing returns to scale resulting from pecuniary externalities deriving from internal increasing returns in the monopolistic competition sector. We extend the production function by also making (log) labour efficiency a function of (log) total public capital stock and (log) human capital stock, leading to a simple and empirically tractable reduced form linking productivity level to density of employment, human capital and public capital stock. The model is further extended to include technological externalities or spillovers across provinces. Using panel data methodology, we find significant elasticities for total capital stock and for human capital stock, and a significant impact for employment density. The finding that the effect of public capital is significantly different from zero, indicating that it has a direct effect even after controlling for employment density, is contrary to some of the earlier research findings which leave the question of the impact of public capital unresolved.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Gómez-Antonio & Bernard Fingleton, 2012. "Regional productivity variation and the impact of public capital stock: an analysis with spatial interaction, with reference to Spain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(28), pages 3665-3677, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:28:p:3665-3677
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.579068
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Justo De Jorge Moreno & Cesar Camison Zorzona & Juan Muro Romero & Leopoldo Laborda Castillo, 2015. "Effects Of Public Capital On Economic Growth And Productivity In Spain During The Period 1980-2007," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(4), pages 67-89, December.
    2. Holl , Adelheid, 2013. "Firm location and productivity in Spain," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 25, pages 27-42.
    3. Gómez-Antonioa, Miguel & Fingleton, Bernard, 2009. "Analysing the impact of public capital stock using the NEG wage equation: a panel data approach," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-29, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    4. Arbués, Pelayo & Baños, José F. & Mayor, Matías, 2015. "The spatial productivity of transportation infrastructure," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 166-177.
    5. Rhydian James & Peter Midmore & Dennis Thomas, 2012. "Public Sector Size and Peripherality," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 447-460, December.
    6. Esteban Fernández-Vázquez, 2014. "Estimating the effect of technological factors from samples affected by collinearity: a data-weighted entropy approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 717-731, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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