IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Do high and volatile levels of public investment suggest misconduct ? the role of institutional quality

  • Grigoli, Francesco
  • Mills, Zachary

This paper investigates the impact of institutional quality on public investment levels over the period 1984-2008. Moreover, it studies how the volatility of public investment and the quality of infrastructure are affected by institutional quality, and explores the contribution of other critical factors. The findings suggest an inverse relationship between public investment levels and institutional quality, supporting the idea that governments use public investment as a vehicle for rent-seeking or to compensate for the fall in private investment due to the poor business environment. In addition, aid flows, revenues and abundance of natural resources contribute positively to the level of capital spending. The author also finds that high volatility of public investment is associated with a lower quality of governance. An increase in revenues is associated with a reduction in the volatility of capital spending, suggesting that proper macroeconomic management smoothes the investment cycle. Finally, the paper provides some tentative evidence of a positive relationship between institutional quality and the quality of infrastructure.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5735.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5735
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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.:

as in new window
  1. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
  2. Stephane Straub, 2007. "Infrastructure and Development: A Critical Appraisal of the Macro-level Literature," ESE Discussion Papers 178, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  3. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
  4. Calderon, Cesar & Moral-Benito, Enrique & Serven, Luis, 2011. "Is infrastructure capital productive ? a dynamic heterogeneous approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5682, The World Bank.
  5. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
  6. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  7. Sophia Gollwitzer & Eteri Kvintradze & Tej Prakash & Luis-Felipe Zanna & Era Dabla-Norris & Richard I Allen & Irene Yackovlev & Victor Duarte Lledo, 2010. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 10/80, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Era Dabla-Norris & Jim Brumby & Annette Kyobe & Zac Mills & Chris Papageorgiou, 2012. "Investing in public investment: an index of public investment efficiency," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 235-266, September.
  9. Clara Delavallade, 2006. "Corruption and distribution of public spending in developing countries," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 30(2), pages 222-239, June.
  10. In Lee & Kyungdong Hahn, 2002. "Bid-Rigging in Auctions for Korean Public-Works Contracts and Potential Damage," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 21(1), pages 73-88, August.
  11. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  12. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. "The tyranny of concepts - CUDIE (Cumulated, Depreciated Investment Effort) is NOT capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2341, The World Bank.
  13. repec:dgr:rugccs:200107 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Romp, Ward & de Haan, Jakob, 2005. "Public capital and economic growth: a critical survey," EIB Papers 2/2005, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  15. Bonnie Wilson & Dennis Coates & Jac Heckelman, 2008. "Democracy and Volatility: Do Special-Interest Groups Matter?," Working Papers 2008-01, Saint Louis University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  16. Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2005. "Democracy, Volatility, and Economic Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 348-361, May.
  17. Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2001. "Determinants of public capital spending in less-developed countries," CCSO Working Papers 200107, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  18. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Christian Daude, 2008. "Public Investment in Developing Countries: A Blessing or a Curse?," Research Department Publications 4597, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  19. Philip Keefer & Stephen Knack, 2007. "Boondoggles, Rent-Seeking, and Political Checks and Balances: Public Investment under Unaccountable Governments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 566-572, August.
  20. Carlos A Leite & Jens Weidmann, 1999. "Does Mother Nature Corrupt? Natural Resources, Corruption, and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 99/85, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  22. Benoit Mandelbrot, 1963. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 394.
  23. Joel E. Cohen, 2010. "Beyond Population: Everyone Counts in Development," Working Papers 220, Center for Global Development.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5735. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.