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Political Economy of Infrastructure Investment: A Spatial Approach

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  • Kieron Meagher
  • Arghya Ghosh

Abstract

The importance of infrastructure for growth is well established in the macroeconomic literature. Previous research has treated public investment in infrastructure as exogenous. We remedy this shortcoming by providing a political economy analysis of infrastructure choice based upon consumer preferences derived from spatial competition models. The transport cost parameter providesa natural index of infrastructure in these models. In this setting, infrastructure investment has two possible effects: to directly lower transaction costs and indirectly to affect market power. We begin with a single marketplace model in which only the direct effect is present and then bring in the indirect effect by extending the analysis to competition on the circle. Analysis of market structure, consumer participation, entry and transport cost curvature give a rich variety of results. Socially optimal outcomes occur in some cases but infrastructure traps are common. Our results suggest that in less developed countries competition enhancing policies are a key prerequisite for public support of infrastructure investment

Suggested Citation

  • Kieron Meagher & Arghya Ghosh, 2004. "Political Economy of Infrastructure Investment: A Spatial Approach," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 561, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:561
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esNASM04/up.1242.1075597859.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xinye Zheng & Feng Song & Yihua Yu & Shunfeng Song, 2015. "In Search of Fiscal Interactions: A Spatial Analysis of Chinese Provincial Infrastructure Spending," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 860-876, November.
    2. Alberto Nucciarelli & Massimo Gastaldi & Nathan Levialdi, 2010. "Asymmetric competition and collection rates differentials: determinants of prices in international telephone service markets," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 315-329, October.
    3. Tarasov, Alexander & Felbermayr, Gabriel, 2014. "Trade and the Spatial Distribution of Transport Infrastructure," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100511, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial Competition; Political Economy; Market Structure; Infrastructure Investment; Voting;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures

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