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Public capital in the 21st century: as productive as ever?

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  • J. F. M. De Jong
  • M. Ferdinandusse
  • J. Funda

Abstract

The global financial crisis and the euro area sovereign debt crisis that followed induced a rapid deterioration in the fiscal positions of countries across the globe. In the ensuing fiscal adjustment process, public investments were severely reduced in many countries. How harmful is this for growth perspectives? Our main objective is to find out whether the importance of public capital for long run output growth has changed in recent years. To this end, we expand time series on public capital stocks for 20 OECD countries and estimate country-specific recursive vector autoregressive (VAR) models. Results show that the effect of public capital shocks on economic growth has not increased in general, although results differ widely between countries. This suggests that the current level of public investments generally does not pose an immediate threat to potential output. Of course, this could change if low investment levels are sustained for a long time.

Suggested Citation

  • J. F. M. De Jong & M. Ferdinandusse & J. Funda, 2018. "Public capital in the 21st century: as productive as ever?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(51), pages 5543-5560, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:50:y:2018:i:51:p:5543-5560
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2018.1487002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan van Lamoen & Simona Mattheussens & Martijn Dröes, 2017. "Quantitative easing and exuberance in government bond markets: Evidence from the ECB's expanded asset purchase program," DNB Working Papers 548, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Vetlov, Igor & Ferdinandusse, Marien & de Jong, Jasper & Funda, Josip, 2017. "The effect of public investment in Europe: a model-based assessment," Working Paper Series 2021, European Central Bank.
    3. Bańbura, Marta & Albani, Maria & Ambrocio, Gene & Bursian, Dirk & Buss, Ginters & de Winter, Jasper & Gavura, Miroslav & Giordano, Claire & Júlio, Paulo & Le Roux, Julien & Lozej, Matija & Malthe-Thag, 2018. "Business investment in EU countries," Occasional Paper Series 215, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    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

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