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Municipal Construction Spending: An Empirical Examination

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  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin
  • Harvey S. Rosen

Abstract

Despite widespread concern and discussion, no consensus exists concerning the causes of the "infrastructure crisis." We investigate several models of the determination of local public capital expenditures. Using Euler equation methods, we find that the hypothesis that construction spending is determined by unconstrained, forward looking municipal planning cannot be rejected. consistent with this result, we find that the stochastic structure of own revenue and grant flows is an important feature of the determination of construction spending. Only unanticipated changes in a community's resources alter its demand for structures. An unanticipated increase in resources of one dollar increases current construction spending by about 5.5 cents.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Harvey S. Rosen, 1989. "Municipal Construction Spending: An Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 2989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2989
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    2. Hulten, Charles R & Peterson, George E, 1984. "The Public Capital Stock: Needs, Trends, and Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 166-173, May.
    3. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1989. "The Revenues-Expenditures Nexus: Evidence from Local Government Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 415-429, May.
    4. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    6. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
    7. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1988. "Testing for individual effects in autoregressive models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 297-307, November.
    8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    9. Hulten, Charles R, 1984. "Productivity Change in State and Local Governments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 256-266, May.
    10. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-247, February.
    11. Eisner, Robert & Pieper, Paul J, 1986. "A New View of the Federal Debt and Budget Deficits: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1156-1157, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Borge, Lars-Erik & Dahlberg, Matz & Tovmo, Per, 2001. "The Intertemporal Spending Behavior of Local Governments: A Comparative Analysis of the Scandinavian Countries," Working Paper Series 2001:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Janusz Mrozek, 2000. "Changes over time in the decision to adopt curbside recycling," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 28(2), pages 239-253, June.
    3. Coronado, Julia Lynn, 1999. "Tax Exemption and State Capital Investment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 3), pages 473-82, September.
    4. Balsdon, Ed & Brunner, Eric J. & Rueben, Kim, 2003. "Private demands for public capital: evidence from school bond referenda," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 610-638, November.
    5. Lars-Erik Borge & Per Tovmo, 2009. "Myopic or Constrained by Balanced-Budget Rules? The Intertemporal Spending Behavior of Norwegian Local Governments," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 200-219, June.
    6. Brunner, Eric & Balsdon, Ed, 2004. "Intergenerational conflict and the political economy of school spending," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 369-388, September.
    7. Luc Eyraud & Marialuz Moreno Badia, 2013. "Too Small to Fail? Subnational Spending Pressures in Europe," IMF Working Papers 13/46, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Holtz-Eakin Douglas & Rosen Harvey S. & Tilly Schuyler, 1994. "Intertemporal Analysis of State and Local Government Spending: Theory and Tests," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 159-174, March.
    9. Jean-Michel Josselin & Fabio Padovano & Yvon Rocaboy, 2013. "Grant legislation vs. political factors as determinants of soft budget spending behaviors. Comparison between Italian and French regions," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 10(3), pages 317-354, December.
    10. Antoni Castells & Daniel Montolio & Albert Solé, 2006. "Infrastructure investment across Spanish regions: determinants and calculation of an expenditure needs index," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 178(3), pages 23-54, September.
    11. Green, Richard K. & Vandell, Kerry D., 1999. "Giving households credit: How changes in the U.S. tax code could promote homeownership," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 419-444, July.
    12. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.

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