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Infrastructure and Growth: Empirical Evidence

  • Balázs Égert
  • Tomasz Koźluk
  • Douglas Sutherland

Investment in network infrastructure can boost long-term economic growth in OECD countries. Moreover, infrastructure investment can have a positive effect on growth that goes beyond the effect of the capital stock because of economies of scale, the existence of network externalities and competition enhancing effects. This paper, which is part of a project examining the links between infrastructure and growth and the role of public policies, reports the results on the links with growth from a variety of econometric approaches. Time-series results reveal a positive impact of infrastructure investment on growth. They also show that this effect varies across countries and sectors and over time. In some cases, these results reveal evidence of possible over-investment, which may be related to inefficient use of infrastructure. Bayesian model averaging of cross-section growth regressions confirm that infrastructure investment in telecommunications and the electricity sectors has a robust positive effect on long-term growth (but not in railways and road networks). Furthermore, this effect is highly nonlinear as the impact is stronger if the physical stock is lower. Infrastructure et croissance : Évidence empirique L’investissement dans les réseaux d’infrastructure est susceptible d’encourager la croissance économique de long terme dans les pays de l’OCDE. De surcroît, il peut avoir un effet positif sur la croissance qui va au-delà de l’effet du stock du capital en raison des économies d’échelles, de l’existence d’externalités de réseaux et des effets bénéfiques sur la concurrence. Ce document, qui fait partie d'un projet sur les liens entre l'infrastructure et la croissance et le rôle des politiques publiques, présente les résultats sur les liens avec la croissance d'une variété de méthodes économétriques. Des résultats fondés sur des séries temporelles indiquent que l’investissement dans les infrastructures a un effet positif sur la croissance économique. Les résultats suggèrent que cet effet varie entre pays et secteurs ainsi que dans le temps. Dans certains cas, ces résultats indiquent un possible sur-investissement qui pourrait provenir d’une utilisation peu efficace des infrastructures. Par le biais d’un moyennage Bayésien de régressions de croissance effectuées en coupe instantanée, nous démontrons que l’investissement d’infrastructure dans les secteurs des télécommunications et de l’électricité (mais pas dans les réseaux ferroviaire et routier) a une influence positive et robuste sur la croissance. De plus, cet effet est non-linéaire car il est plus important si le stock du capital est moins élevé.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/225682848268
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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 685.

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Date of creation: 13 Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:685-en
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