IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public investment: a remedy or a curse? Examining the Role of Public Investment for Macroeconomic Performance


  • Ismihan, Mustafa
  • Ozkan, F Gulcin


This paper explores the implications of public investment for macroeconomic performance within a simple two-period policymaking model. We show that under the balanced-budget rule, the contribution of public investment to future output plays a key role in determining its effects on macroeconomic performance. When policymakers resort to debt issue in financing expenditures, the attractiveness of public investment crucially depends on the return from capital spending relative to the cost of public borrowing. We also consider the case of a capital borrowing rule where only public investment could be financed by additional borrowing and find similar results. Our findings point to the key role of the quality of public investment in its impact on macroeconomic outcome and highlight the importance of efficient mechanisms for selection, implementation and monitoring of public investment projects in both developed and developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ismihan, Mustafa & Ozkan, F Gulcin, 2007. "Public investment: a remedy or a curse? Examining the Role of Public Investment for Macroeconomic Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 6139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6139

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Fiscal Consolidation in Europe: Composition Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 105-110, May.
    2. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 1999. "Does monetary unification lead to excessive debt accumulation?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 299-325, December.
    3. Jérôme Creel, 2003. "Ranking Fiscal Policy Rules: the Golden Rule of Public Finance vs. the Stability and Growth Pact," Sciences Po publications 2003-04, Sciences Po.
    4. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Does public capital crowd out private capital?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-188, September.
    5. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Tales of Fiscal Adjustment," Scholarly Articles 2579822, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Antonio Estache, 1994. "World Development Report: Infrastructure for Development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44144, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Jonathan Isham & Daniel Kaufmann, 1999. "The Forgotten Rationale for Policy Reform: The Productivity of Investment Projects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 149-184.
    8. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    9. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Eduardo Borensztein & Olivier D Jeanne & Paolo Mauro & Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Marcos Chamon, 2005. "Sovereign Debt Structure for Crisis Prevention," IMF Occasional Papers 237, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Morrison, Catherine J & Schwartz, Amy Ellen, 1996. "State Infrastructure and Productive Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1095-1111, December.
    12. Ozkan, F Gulcin, 2000. " Who Wants an Independent Central Bank? Monetary Policy-Making and Politics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 621-643, December.
    13. Buiter, Willem H, 2001. "Notes on 'A Code for Fiscal Stability.'," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-19, January.
    14. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Mind your P's and Q's : the cost of public investment is not the value of public capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1660, The World Bank.
    15. George Kopits, 2001. "Fiscal Rules; Useful Policy Framework or Unnecessary Ornament?," IMF Working Papers 01/145, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 1997. "Central bank independence and public debt policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(4-5), pages 873-894, May.
    17. Antonio Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2010. "Public sector efficiency: evidence for new EU member states and emerging markets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2147-2164.
    18. Ismihan, Mustafa & Gulcin Ozkan, F., 2004. "Does central bank independence lower inflation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 305-309, September.
    19. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco, 2000. "Public investment, the Stability Pact and the ‘golden rule’," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 207-229, June.
    20. Stefan Mittnik & Thorsten Neumann, 2001. "Dynamic effects of public investment: Vector autoregressive evidence from six industrialized countries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 429-446.
    21. Alfredo M. Pereira, 2000. "Is All Public Capital Created Equal?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 513-518, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moïse, 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions with central bank transparency and public investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 195-208, September.

    More about this item


    macroeconomic performance; public debt; public investment;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6139. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.