How Did Latin America’s Infrastructure Fare in the era of Macroeconomic Crises?
There is a long-standing literature that shows that fiscal adjustment is often implemented through cuts in public investment, including infrastructure (Roubini and Sachs, 1989; Hicks, 1991; De Haan et al. 1996). In this respect, the present paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the evolution of infrastructure stocks, quality and spending in Latin America in order to assess whether the infrastructure sector suffer from the prolonged period of macroeconomic stabilization in the 1980s and 1990s. First, we assess trends in quantity and quality of infrastructure using data on 19 Latin American countries, and we compare them to the performance of the seven "East Asian miracle" countries. Second, we look at trends in infrastructure spending for 9 major Latin American countries on which we have country data. Here we examine to what extent changes in public infrastructure spending were linked to fiscal deficit reductions and driven by the privatization of infrastructure and increased private spending on infrastructure. Finally, we assess the relationship of infrastructure quantity and quality to the path of infrastructure spending in a panel data econometric analysis.
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