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Balanced growth and public capital: an empirical analysis


  • William Crowder
  • Daniel Himarios


The balanced growth restrictions implied by the neoclassical growth model imply that output, the private capital stock and the public capital stock share the same stochastic trend. We analyse the postwar US data on real output, real private capital stock and real public capital stock and find that the balanced growth restrictions cannot be rejected by the data. Removing the common stochastic trend from each series allows the estimation of output elasticities that is free from the spurious regression problem. The results support Aschauer's (1989) claim that, at the margin, public capital is more productive than private capital.

Suggested Citation

  • William Crowder & Daniel Himarios, 1997. "Balanced growth and public capital: an empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 1045-1053.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:29:y:1997:i:8:p:1045-1053
    DOI: 10.1080/000368497326435

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
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    7. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
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    9. Ram, Rati, 1986. "Government Size and Economic Growth: A New Framework and Some Evidencefrom Cross-Section and Time-Series Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 191-203, March.
    10. Edgar Peden & Michael Bradley, 1989. "Government size, productivity, and economic growth: The post-war experience," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 229-245, June.
    11. Aschauer, David Alan, 1988. "The Equilibrium Approach to Fiscal Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 41-62, February.
    12. Grier, Kevin B. & Tullock, Gordon, 1989. "An empirical analysis of cross-national economic growth, 1951-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-276, September.
    13. Erenburg, S. J. & Wohar, Mark E., 1995. "Public and private investment: Are there causal linkages?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-30.
    14. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Kamps, 2005. "The Dynamic Effects of Public Capital: VAR Evidence for 22 OECD Countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 533-558, August.
    2. Bertrand Candelon & Gilbert Colletaz & Christophe Hurlin, 2013. "Network Effects and Infrastructure Productivity in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(6), pages 887-913, December.
    3. Zhu, Shengxiu & Oxley, Les, 2002. "New Zealand economic growth—endogenous or exogenous?," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 125-131.
    4. Makuyana, Garikai & Odhiambo, Nicholas Mbaya, 2017. "Public and private investment and economic growth in Malawi:An ARDL-bounds testing approach," Working Papers 22003, University of South Africa, Department of Economics.
    5. Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Pasqualino Montanaro, 2012. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Infrastructures: A Literature Review and Empirical Analysis on the Case of Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
    6. Pedro R.D. Bom & Jenny E. Ligthart, 2009. "How Productive is Public Capital? A Meta-Regression Analysis," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0912, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    7. Makuyana, Garikai & Odhiambo, Nicholas Mbaya, 2017. "Public and private investment and economic growth in South Africa:An empirical investigation," Working Papers 22005, University of South Africa, Department of Economics.
    8. Everaert, Gerdie, 2003. "Balanced growth and public capital: an empirical analysis with I(2) trends in capital stock data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 741-763, July.
    9. Ward Romp & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Public Capital and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(s1), pages 6-52, April.
    10. Hurlin, Christophe & Minea, Alexandru, 2013. "Is public capital really productive? A methodological reappraisal," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 228(1), pages 122-130.
    11. Alfredo M. Pereira & Jorge M. Andraz, 2013. "On The Economic Effects Of Public Infrastructure Investment: A Survey Of The International Evidence," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 1-37, December.
    12. Frederick L Joutz & Yasser Abdih, 2008. "The Impact of Public Capital, Human Capital, and Knowledge on Aggregate Output," IMF Working Papers 08/218, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Pina, Alvaro Manuel & St. Aubyn, Miguel, 2005. "Comparing macroeconomic returns on human and public capital: An empirical analysis of the Portuguese case (1960-2001)," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 585-598, July.
    14. repec:pdc:jrnbeh:v:13:y:2017:i:1:p:60-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Hurlin, Christophe, 2006. "Network effects of the productivity of infrastructure in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3808, The World Bank.
    16. Pereira, João & St. Aubyn, Miguel, 2009. "What level of education matters most for growth?: Evidence from Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 67-73, February.
    17. Garikai Makuyana & Nicholas M. Odhiambo, 2017. "Public and private investment and economic growth in Zimbabwe: An empirical test," Business and Economic Horizons (BEH), Prague Development Center, vol. 13(1), pages 60-76, March.
    18. Andrei S. Akhremenko & Alexander Petrov, 2014. "Efficiency, Policy Selection, And Growth In Democracy And Autocracy: A Formal Dynamical Model," HSE Working papers WP BRP 16/PS/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    19. Bertarelli Silvia, 2006. "Public capital and growth," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 361-398.
    20. Makuyana, Garikai & Odhiambo, Nicholas Mbaya, 2016. "Public and private investment and economic growth in Zambia: A dynamic approach," Working Papers 21377, University of South Africa, Department of Economics.

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