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Is Public Capital Productive? A Review of the Evidence


An recent years, analysts and policymakers have voiced concern that public investment in the United States may be too low. In response, the Clinton administration's original economic strategy emphasized a plan to expand investment in public infrastructure. Now, however, the Republican-controlled Congress is looking for ways to achieve a balanced budget by the year 2002. When the budget ax falls, will infrastructure programs be among those targeted for cuts? In making such decisions, policymakers need to consider the evidence regarding the productive effects of public capital on the U.S. economy.

An recent years, analysts and policymakers have voiced concern that public investment in the United States may be too low. In response, the Clinton administration's original economic strategy emphasized a plan to expand investment in public infrastructure. Now, however, the Republican-controlled Congress is looking for ways to achieve a balanced budget by the year 2002. When the budget ax falls, will infrastructure programs be among those targeted for cuts? In making such decisions, policymakers need to consider the evidence regarding the productive effects of public capital on the U.S. economy.


Suggested citation: Lansing, Kevin J., 1995. "Is Public Capital Productive? A Review of the Evidence," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 03.01.1995.

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