Without purpose and strategy? A spatio-functional analysis of the regional allocation of public investment in Greece
We utilise a large database on public investment at the prefecture (NUTS-3) level in Greece for the period 1976-2008 to examine the spatial and functional allocation of public investment in the country. We investigate the extent to which expenditures in different types of public investment are complementary across space and over time and examine their redistributive character. We also analyse regional specialisations and the geographical concentration of public investments and complementarily use an exploratory spatial data analysis to examine the extent of clustering of public investment and identify possible patterns in the geography of clusters and hotspots. Although our analysis uses predominantly descriptive tools, our results have confirmatory power, as they reveal a surprisingly random pattern for the spatial and functional allocation of public investment in Greece, thus raising important questions about the rationale for these allocations and, by implication, about the geographical, political and economic dynamics that underlie them. These questions obtain an additional salience in light of the administrative and fiscal reforms pursued currently by the Greek government under the pressure of the country’s sovereign debt crisis.
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