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Fiscal Policy, Public Capital and Economic Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Moisa Altar

    (Faculty of Finance and Banking, Bucharest University of Economics)

  • Judita Samuel

    (Bucharest University of Economics)

Abstract

The effect of public investment on economic growth is a crucial public policy issue. Empirical research into this question was stimulated by Aschauer (1989), who suggested that public capital has a powerful impact on the productivity of private capital. Aschauer's results were controversial and have generated substantial empirical research directed at determining the robustness of his position. The present paper analyses the way in which public investment and fiscal policy influences the performances of economic growth. We analyze the impact of public investment on the dynamics of private capital formation in an intertemporal optimizing framework. Following W.H. Fischer and S.J.Turnovsky (1998), the public good is treated as a durable capital good, subject to congestion. The analysis is made on the basis of a dynamic model with discrete variables. The optimality conditions for the representative agent's problem are deduced on the basis of the Maximum Principle for discrete dynamic systems (Altar, 1976). The production function considered within the model is a function of three variables: labour, stock of private capital and services obtained from the stock of public capital. A critical feature of the model concerns the specification of the productive services derived by the representative agent from public capital. Several variants for this function are analysed in the paper. We also analyse several alternative modes of government financing. A qualitative analysis of the optimal trajectories is performed, on the basis of the information provided by the Maximum Principle, concerning the dynamics of the dual variable and the properties of the Lagrange multipliers. Finally, we analyse the influence of several fiscal and investment decisions on the optimal trajectories and on the performance-function of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Moisa Altar & Judita Samuel, 2008. "Fiscal Policy, Public Capital and Economic Growth," Advances in Economic and Financial Research - DOFIN Working Paper Series 5, Bucharest University of Economics, Center for Advanced Research in Finance and Banking - CARFIB.
  • Handle: RePEc:cab:wpaefr:5
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    File URL: http://www.dofin.ase.ro/carfib/wpaefr/wpaefr_5.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
    3. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Does public capital crowd out private capital?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-188, September.
    4. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    5. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-1196, September.
    6. Futagami, Koichi & Morita, Yuichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1993. " Dynamic Analysis of an Endogenous Growth Model with Public Capital," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 607-625, December.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    8. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    9. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Fisher, Walter H., 1995. "The composition of government expenditure and its consequences for macroeconomic performance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-786, May.
    10. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    11. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
    12. Edwards, John H. Y., 1990. "Congestion function specification and the "publicness" of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 80-96, January.
    13. Lynde, Catherine & Richmond, J, 1993. "Public Capital and Long-Run Costs in U.K. Manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 880-893, July.
    14. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Moisa Altar & Judita Samuel, 2008. "The Influence of Fiscal Policy on Economic Growth," Advances in Economic and Financial Research - DOFIN Working Paper Series 7, Bucharest University of Economics, Center for Advanced Research in Finance and Banking - CARFIB.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Fiscal Policy; Public investment; Congestion;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D99 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Other
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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