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Determinants of public capital spending in less-developed countries

  • Sturm, Jan-Egbert

    (Groningen University)

Abstract In a great majority of countries throughout the world productive government services have declined as percentage of GDP since the 1970s. In the macroeconomic literature this is often associated with the general productivity growth decline, suggesting an important role for infrastructure investment in economic growth. However, this also raises the question as of why public capital spending declined in so many countries. Surprisingly, hardly any research on this exists. This paper is one of the first attempts to fill this gap by testing various hypotheses that may explain the development of government capital spending using panel data for 123 non-OECD countries for the period 1970{1998. Politico-institutional variables, like ideology, political cohesion, political stability and political business cycles do not seem to be important when explaining government capital formation in less-developed economies. On the other hand, variables like public decits, private investment and foreign aid are significantly related to public capital spending.

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Paper provided by University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research in its series CCSO Working Papers with number 200107.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugccs:200107
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  1. Ozler, Sule & Rodrik, Dani, 1992. "External shocks, politics and private investment : Some theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 141-162, July.
  2. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob De Haan, 1998. "Public capital spending in The Netherlands: developments and explanations," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 5-10.
  3. Oshikoya, Temitope W, 1994. "Macroeconomic Determinants of Domestic Private Investment in Africa: An Empirical Analysis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(3), pages 573-96, April.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  5. Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2000. "No Need to Run Millions of Regressions," CESifo Working Paper Series 288, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Schuknecht, Ludger, 2000. " Fiscal Policy Cycles and Public Expenditure in Developing Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 115-30, January.
  7. Edin, Per-Anders & Ohlsson, Henry, 1991. "Political determinants of budget deficits: Coalition effects versus minority effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1597-1603, December.
  8. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  9. Jakob Haan & Jan Sturm & Bernd Sikken, 1996. "Government capital formation: Explaining the decline," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 55-74, March.
  10. van Dalen, Hendrik P & Swank, Otto H, 1996. " Government Spending Cycles: Ideological or Opportunistic?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 183-200, October.
  11. Savvides, Andreas, 1995. "Economic growth in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 449-458, March.
  12. Khan, Mohsin S. & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1990. "Private investment and economic growth in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 19-27, January.
  13. Joshua Greene & Delano Villanueva, 1991. "Private Investment in Developing Countries: An Empirical Analysis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(1), pages 33-58, March.
  14. Borensztein, Eduardo, 1990. "Debt overhang, credit rationing and investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 315-335, April.
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