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Contribution to Productivity or Pork Barrel? The Two Faces of Infrastructure Investment

Опубликовано на портале: 02-12-2007
DIW Berlin Discussion Papers. 2004.  No. 458.
This paper proposes a simultaneous-equation approach to the estimation of the contribution of transport infrastructure accumulation to regional growth. We model explicitly the political-economy process driving infrastructure investments; in doing so, we eliminate a potential source of bias in production-function estimates and generate testable hypotheses on the forces that shape infrastructure policy. Our empirical findings on a panel of France's regions over 1985-92 suggest that electoral concerns and influence activities were, indeed, significant determinants of the cross-regional allocation of transportation infrastructure investments. By contrast, we find little evidence of concern for the maximization of economic returns to infrastructure spending, even after controlling for pork-barrel.

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