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The Role of Infrastructure Capital in China’s Regional Economic Growth

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  • Shi, Yingying

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of infrastructure capital in China’s regional economic development during 1990 to 2009 in a neoclassical economic growth model. Four types of infrastructure capital are discussed; electricity, road, rail, and land-line telephone. The results support a positive role of infrastructure in improving economic wellbeing in China. It shows that infrastructure has contributed to the convergence among China’s provinces. However, declining growth momentum from rapid increase of road infrastructure, in particular for the Western region, suggests that road development in the region has been growing too fast. The results counter the conventional wisdom of “road leads to prosperity” widely accepted among national and local governments in China. Thus, the seemingly productive infrastructure capital, when invested beyond a proper level or speed, will become unproductive. The results resonate with the theoretical literature on the inverse U shaped growth impact of infrastructure capital and the dominant “crowding out” of private capital if there is too much infrastructure. They also address the puzzle in the current literature debates as to the direction and magnitude of the growth impact of infrastructure capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Shi, Yingying, 2012. "The Role of Infrastructure Capital in China’s Regional Economic Growth," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126547, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126547
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/126547
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Charles R. Hulten, 1996. "Infrastructure Capital and Economic Growth: How Well You Use It May Be More Important Than How Much You Have," NBER Working Papers 5847, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Schwert, G William, 2002. "Tests for Unit Roots: A Monte Carlo Investigation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 5-17, January.
    6. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Heng-fu, Zou, 1996. "The composition of public expenditure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 313-344, April.
    7. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Does public capital crowd out private capital?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-188, September.
    8. Malcolm Knight & Norman Loayza & Delano Villanueva, 1993. "Testing the Neoclassical Theory of Economic Growth: A Panel Data Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(3), pages 512-541, September.
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    12. Ronald C. Fisher, 1997. "Effects of state and local public services on economic development," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 53-82.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Khan, Saleheen & Tahir, Mohammad Iqbal, 2013. "The dynamic links between energy consumption, economic growth, financial development and trade in China: Fresh evidence from multivariate framework analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 8-21.
    2. Presbitero, Andrea F., 2016. "Too much and too fast? Public investment scaling-up and absorptive capacity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 17-31.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    infrastructure; economic growth; regional inequality; China; International Development; Production Economics; Public Economics; H54; O18; R11;

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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