How Big Should the Public Capital Stock Be? The Relationship Between Public Capital and Economic Growth
Investment in infrastructure is necessary for a strong, flexible, and growing economy. However, the relationship between public capital and economic growth is not linear. At a certain level, the tax burden associated with financing and maintaining public capital reduces the returns to private industry, which, in turn, reduces growth; also, different types of spending have different effects on growth. The short- and long-term growth-maximizing effects of public investment increase as the ratio of public to private capital stock rises to an optimal level (found to be about 61 percent); above that level the growth effects decrease. The public to private ratio is below the optimal level throughout much of the country and government spending is not always directed toward the types of investment that have the most positive effects on growth. Good economic policy requires both increasing the public capital stock and reorienting government spending from consumption to investment in physical capital stock.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Evans, Paul & Karras, Georgios, 1994. "Are Government Activities Productive? Evidence from a Panel of U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 1-11, February.
- Alicia H. Munnell, 1990.
"How does public infrastructure affect regional economic performance?,"
Conference Series ; [Proceedings],
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 34, pages 69-112.
- Alicia H. Munnell & Leah M. Cook, 1990. "How does public infrastructure affect regional economic performance?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 11-33.
- Randall W. Eberts, 1986. "Estimating the contribution of urban public infrastructure to regional growth," Working Paper 8610, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Schwartz, Amy Ellen, 1995. "Infrastructure in a structural model of economic growth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 131-151, April.
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Amy Ellen Schwartz, 1994. "Infrastructure in a Structural Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Catherine J. Morrison & Amy Ellen Schwartz, 1992. "State Infrastructure and Productive Performance," NBER Working Papers 3981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kevin A. Hassett, 1999. "Tax Policy and Investment," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 53049.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_43. 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: (Marie-Celeste Edwards)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.