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Incentives for public investment under fiscal rules

Author

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  • Mintz, Jack M.
  • Smart, Michael

Abstract

The authors explore the relationship between fiscal rules and capital budgeting. The current budgetary approach to limit deficits to a fixed portion of GDP or to balance budgets could undermine incentives to invest in public capital with long-run returns since politicians concerned about electoral prospects would favor expenditures providing immediate benefits to their voters. An alternative budgetary approach is to separate capital from current revenues and expenditures and relax fiscal constraints by allowing governments to finance capital expenditures with debt, as suggested by the golden rule approach to capital funding. But the effect of capital budgeting would be to provide opportunities to politicians to escape the fiscal rule constraints by shifting current expenditures into capital accounts that are difficult to measure properly, thereby leading to increased borrowing. As an alternative, the authors propose a modified golden rule limiting debt finance to a proportion of the government's investment in self-liquidating assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Mintz, Jack M. & Smart, Michael, 2006. "Incentives for public investment under fiscal rules," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3860, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3860
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco, 2000. "Public investment, the Stability Pact and the ‘golden rule’," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 207-229, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2008. "Public-private partnerships and government spending limits," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 412-420.
    2. Roehrich, Jens K. & Lewis, Michael A. & George, Gerard, 2014. "Are public–private partnerships a healthy option? A systematic literature review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 110-119.
    3. Groneck, Max, 2010. "A golden rule of public finance or a fixed deficit regime?: Growth and welfare effects of budget rules," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 523-534, March.
    4. Frédéric Marty, 2007. "Partenariats public-privé, règles de discipline budgétaire, comptabilité patrimoniale et stratégies de hors bilan," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-29, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    5. Bom, Pedro R.D. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2014. "Public infrastructure investment, output dynamics, and balanced budget fiscal rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 334-354.
    6. Ward Romp & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Public Capital and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(s1), pages 6-52, April.
    7. Khalid Abu-Ismail & Rathin Roy & Raquel Almeida Ramos, 2012. "Is there Fiscal Space for Financing an Arab Development Transformation?," Working Papers 88, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    8. Calderon, Cesar & Serven, Luis, 2010. "Infrastructure in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5317, The World Bank.
    9. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Pereira, Ricardo A. de castro, 2008. "Efeitos de Crescimento e Bem-estar da Lei de Parceria Público-Privada no Brasil," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 62(2), October.
    10. Jörg-Uwe Hahn & Kai A. Konrad & Eckhard Janeba & Max Groneck & Robert C. Plachta, 2008. "Föderalismuskommission II: Neue Schuldenregelung für Bund und Länder und Altschuldenhilfe - wie sollten die Finanzbeziehungen von Bund und Ländern neu geordnet werden?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(09), pages 03-14, May.
    11. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Araújo, Carlos Hamilton Vasconcelos, 2006. "On the economic and fiscal effects of infrastructure investment in Brazil," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 613, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    12. William Easterly & Timothy Irwin & Luis Servén, 2008. "Walking up the Down Escalator: Public Investment and Fiscal Stability," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 37-56, January.
    13. Chiara Del Bo & Massimo Florio & Silvia Vignetti & Emanuela Sirtori, 2011. "Additionality and regional development: are EU Structural Funds complements or substitutes of national Public Finance?," Working Papers 201101, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.
    14. Groneck, Max, 2008. "A Golden Rule of Public Finance or a Fixed Deficit Regime? Growth and Welfare Effects of Budget Rules," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 08-7, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Sector Economics&Finance; Investment and Investment Climate; Economic Theory&Research; Public&Municipal Finance; Urban Economics;

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