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Fixing Swiss Potholes: The Importance of Improvements

  • Dueker, Michael
  • Fischer, Andreas M

The objective of this note is to document the importance of improvements relative to the other forms of capital spending and to determine whether improvements have similar cyclical properties as maintenance and repair. To shed some light on these issues, we look at a unique data set on Swiss road spending. The data on road spending are broken down into new roads, road improvements, and road maintenance and repair (hereafter road maintenance). The long-run evidence finds that road improvement is larger in size than road maintenance and exhibits similar dynamic properties as road maintenance. This result strengthens the view of McGratten and Schmitz (1999) that countercyclical spending of firms on maintenance (and on improvement) of existing capital is too large to be ignored.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3159.

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Date of creation: Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3159
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  1. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Sectoral Solow Residuals," NBER Working Papers 5286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marga PEETERS & Paul GHIJSEN, 2000. "Capital, Labour, Materials and Additional R&D Investment in Japan - The Issue of Double-Counting," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 58, pages 165-184.
  3. Steve Ambler & Alain Paquet, 1992. "Stochastic Depreciation and the Business Cycle Puzzle," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 8, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  4. Ellen R. McGrattan & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1999. "Maintenance and repair: too big to ignore," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-13.
  5. Omar LICANDRO & Luis A. PUCH, 2000. "Capital Utilization, Maintenance Costs and the Business Cycle," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 58, pages 143-164.
  6. Ambler, Steve & Paquet, Alain, 1994. "Stochastic Depreciation and the Business Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 101-16, February.
  7. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1990. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 3556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Collard, Fabrice & Kollintzas, Tryphon, 2000. "Maintenance, Utilization, and Depreciation along the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 2477, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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