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Some misconceptions about public investment efficiency and growth

Author: Andrew BergEdward F BuffieCatherine A PattilloRafael PortilloAndrea F PresbiteroAll authors
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : International Monetary Fund, ©2015.
Series: IMF working paper, WP/15/272.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : International government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
We reconsider the macroeconomic implications of public investment efficiency, defined as the ratio between the actual increment to public capital and the amount spent. We show that, in a simple and standard model, increases in public investment spending in inefficient countries do not have a lower impact on growth than in efficient countries, a result confirmed in a simple cross-country regression. This apparently  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Material Type: Document, Government publication, International government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Andrew Berg; Edward F Buffie; Catherine A Pattillo; Rafael Portillo; Andrea F Presbitero; Luis-Felipe Zanna; International Monetary Fund. Research Department.; International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, and Review Department.; International Monetary Fund. Institute for Capacity Development.
ISBN: 1513589970 9781513589978
ISSN:1018-5941
OCLC Number: 936379984
Notes: "December 2015."
"Research Department, Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, and Institute for Capacity Development."
Authors: Andrew Berg, Edward F. Buffie, Catherine Pattillo, Rafael Portillo, Andrea Presbitero, and Luis-Felipe Zanna.
Description: 1 online resource (37 pages) : color illustrations.
Series Title: IMF working paper, WP/15/272.
Responsibility: prepared by Andrew Berg [and others].

Abstract:

We reconsider the macroeconomic implications of public investment efficiency, defined as the ratio between the actual increment to public capital and the amount spent. We show that, in a simple and standard model, increases in public investment spending in inefficient countries do not have a lower impact on growth than in efficient countries, a result confirmed in a simple cross-country regression. This apparently counter-intuitive result, which contrasts with Pritchett (2000) and recent policy analyses, follows directly from the standard assumption that the marginal product of public capital declines with the capital/output ratio. The implication is that efficiency and scarcity of public capital are likely to be inversely related across countries. It follows that both efficiency and the rate of return need to be considered together in assessing the impact of increases in investment, and blanket recommendations against increased public investment spending in inefficient countries need to be reconsidered. Changes in efficiency, in contrast, have direct and potentially powerful impacts on growth: "investing in investing" through structural reforms that increase efficiency, for example, can have very high rates of return.--Abstract.

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