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Is public capital productive in Europe?

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  • Jerome Creel
  • Gwenaelle Poilon

Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of whether and by how much public investment or public capital can increase GDP. In comparison with the literature on the subject, we apply many different methodologies to answer these questions. A vector autoregressive (VAR) model (for France, Italy, Germany, the UK and the USA), a panel composed of 6 European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) and a regional panel (French regions) are estimated. Public investment is shown to be a significant determinant of output; this is also true for public capital but to a lesser extent than public investment with a VAR methodology. The size of the estimated coefficient is also more realistic than those obtained in the literature. This empirical result confirms that the focus of some economists on safeguarding the level of public investment is not misplaced. The debate on the introduction of a 'golden rule of public finance' in the European Monetary Union is legitimate in this respect.

Suggested Citation

  • Jerome Creel & Gwenaelle Poilon, 2008. "Is public capital productive in Europe?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(6), pages 673-691.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:22:y:2008:i:6:p:673-691
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170802407577
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Pasqualino Montanaro, 2012. "Network effects of public transport infrastructure: Evidence on Italian regions," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(3), pages 515-541, August.
    2. Jérôme Creel & Paul Hubert & Francesco Saraceno, 2014. "French Public Finances at Risk?," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(1), pages 1-19, Februar.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p5488g8pn is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Sergio Jiménez Ramírez & Jaime Sanaú Villarroya, 2011. "Infraestructuras y productividad industrial en Colombia," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, December.
    7. Pedro R. D. Bom & Jenny Ligthart, 2008. "How Productive is Public Capital? A Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2206, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Jasper de Jong & Marien Ferdinandusse & Josip Funda, 2017. "Public capital in the 21st century: As productive as ever?," DNB Working Papers 542, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. Jerome Creel & Gwenaelle Poilon, 2008. "Is public capital productive in Europe?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(6), pages 673-691.
    10. Pedro R.D. Bom & Jenny E. Ligthart, 2014. "What Have We Learned From Three Decades Of Research On The Productivity Of Public Capital?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 889-916, December.
    11. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00965 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Linus Mattauch & Jan Siegmeier & Ottmar Edenhofer & Felix Creutzig, 2013. "Financing Public Capital through Land Rent Taxation: A Macroeconomic Henry George Theorem," CESifo Working Paper Series 4280, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public capital; public investment; VAR; panel data; European countries;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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