ISSN: 2056-3736 (Online Version) | 2056-3728 (Print Version)

Public and Foreign Investment Spending in the Argentine Case. A Cointegration Analysis with Structural Breaks, 1960-2015

Miguel D. Ramirez

Correspondence: Miguel D. Ramirez,

Department of Economics, Trinity College, USA

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This paper examines whether public investment spending and inward foreign direct investment (FDI) enhance labor productivity growth in Argentina. Using annual data, it estimates a dynamic labor productivity function for the 1960-2015 period that incorporates the impact of public and private investment spending, education expenditures, the labor force, and export growth. It tests for both single and two-break unit root tests, as well as performing cointegration tests with an endogenously determined regime shift over the 1960-2015 period. Cointegration analysis suggests that a long-term relationship exists among the relevant variables. The error correction (EC) models suggest that (lagged) increases in public investment spending and education have a positive and significant effect on the rate of labor productivity growth Also, the model is estimated for a shorter period (1970-2015) to capture the impact of inward FDI flows. The estimates suggest that (lagged) FDI flows have a positive and significant impact on labor productivity growth, while increases in the labor force have a negative effect. From a policy standpoint, the findings call into question the politically expedient policy in many Latin American countries, including Argentina during the 1990s and 2000s, of disproportionately reducing public capital expenditures on education and infrastructure to meet reductions in the fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP. The results give further support to pro-investment and pro-growth policies designed to promote public investment spending and attract inward FDI flows.


  Complementarity Hypothesis, Education expenditures, Endogenous growth, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Gregory-Hansen cointegration single-break test, Lee-Strazicich two-break unit root test, Johansen Cointegration Test, Public Investment, Vector Error Correction model (VECM).


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