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The Impact of Public Capital, Human Capital, and Knowledge on Aggregate Output

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  • Frederick L Joutz
  • Yasser Abdih

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of public capital on private sector output by testing and estimating an aggregate production function for the U.S. economy over the postwar period augmented to include the stock of public capital as an additional factor input. We use patent applications to proxy for knowledge/technology stocks and adjust labor hours for changes in human capital or skill. Using Johansen's (1988 and 1991) multivariate cointegration analysis, we find a positive and significant long run effect of public capital, private capital, skilladjusted labor, and technology/ knowledge on private sector output. We find that public capital accounts for about half of the post-1973 productivity slowdown, but only plays a minor role in the partial recovery of labor productivity growth since the mid 1980s. The largest contribution to that (partial) recovery comes from the knowledge stock and human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederick L Joutz & Yasser Abdih, 2008. "The Impact of Public Capital, Human Capital, and Knowledge on Aggregate Output," IMF Working Papers 08/218, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/218
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    Cited by:

    1. Mitra, Arup & Sharma, Chandan & Véganzonès-Varoudakis, Marie-Ange, 2016. "Infrastructure, information & communication technology and firms’ productive performance of the Indian manufacturing," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 353-371.
    2. Alfredo M. Pereira & Jorge M. Andraz, 2013. "On The Economic Effects Of Public Infrastructure Investment: A Survey Of The International Evidence," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 1-37, December.
    3. Vitor M. Carvalho & Manuel M. F. Martins, 2011. "Macroeconomic effects of fiscal consolidations in a DSGE model for the Euro Area: does composition matter?," FEP Working Papers 421, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    4. Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Pasqualino Montanaro, 2012. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Infrastructures: A Literature Review and Empirical Analysis on the Case of Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
    5. Vitor Carvalho & Manuel M. F. Martins, 2011. "Investment and output effects of fiscal consolidations in a new-Keynesian DSGE model for the Euro Area: composition matters?," EcoMod2011 3246, EcoMod.

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    Keywords

    Economic growth; Economic models; Economic policy; Labor productivity; Human capital; Public finance; Private sector; Public capital; knowledge; cointegration; equation; statistic; statistics; patent applications;

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