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The effects of public capital on the productivity of the Italian regions

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  • Emanuela Marrocu
  • Raffaele Paci

Abstract

This article investigates the role played by public capital in increasing the productivity levels in Italy. For construction of the regional series for the public capital stock over the period 1996 to 2003, the study benefits from the use of the rich dataset on public expenditure, recently published by the Italian Ministry of Economy. We have estimated panel production functions with the inclusion of traditional factors and also intangible inputs like research and development (R&D) expenditure, human capital (HK) and social capital (SK). The results point out that public capital has a positive and significant effect on production. Moreover, the effects of all production factors vary considerably between the two macro-areas of the country, namely Centre-North and Mezzogiorno. More specifically, while private capital is more effective in the South, labour exhibits an elasticity much higher in the Centre-North with respect to the Mezzogiorno. The disaggregation of the public capital stock into functional categories indicates a significant different impact in the two macro-areas. In addition, when the analysis is carried out by distinguishing among government levels it turns out that the decentralized administrative bodies are much less efficient in the South in delivering public expenditure.

Suggested Citation

  • Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2010. "The effects of public capital on the productivity of the Italian regions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 989-1002.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:8:p:989-1002
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701721083
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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