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Infrastructure and Private-Sector Productivity


  • Robert Ford


  • Pierre Poret



A recent study by David Aschauer suggested a novel explanation for the slowdown of private-sector total factor productivity (TFP) in the United States in the early 1970s. He argues that it is due to the roughly contemporaneous slowdown in the rate of investment in public-sector infrastructure. Using data for eleven OECD countries, this note provides only mixed support for Aschauer's hypothesis. With series starting in the 1960s for most countries, regression analysis found a significant effect of infrastructure on TFP in about half the countries. A longer-term perspective was also examined for the United States. On the basis of data going back to the end of the 19th century, it appears that there was no relationship between infrastructure and TFP until after World War II ... Une étude récente de David Aschauer suggérait une nouvelle explication pour le ralentissement de la productivité totale des facteurs (PTF) dans le secteur des entreprises aux Etats-Unis durant les années 1970 : il s'expliquerait par le ralentissement approximativement contemporain des dépenses d'infrastructure du secteur public. Utilisant des données pour onze pays de l'OCDE, cette note n'apporte qu'un soutien partiel à l'hypothèse de Aschauer. Avec des séries commençant dans les années 1960 pour la plupart des pays, l'analyse économétrique met en evidence un effet significatif des infrastructures sur la PTF pour environ la moité des pays. Une perspective de plus long terme a été aussi envisagée pour les Etats-Unis. Sur la base de données remontant à la fin du dix-neuvième siècle, il apparaît qu'il n'y a pas de relation entre infrastructure et PTF jusqu'à l'après-seconde guerre mondiale ...

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Ford & Pierre Poret, 1991. "Infrastructure and Private-Sector Productivity," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 91, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:91-en
    DOI: 10.1787/231625432004

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