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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9994||2004||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 32, Issue 9, September 2004, Pages 1545–1562
This paper uses multiple regression analysis to determine the extent to which the regional distribution of public investment policies before and after the Mexican debt crisis and the opening of the country to trade have responded primarily to efficiency or redistribution criteria. The results highlight that the regional allocation of public investment funds in Mexico since 1970 seems to follow neither redistribution, nor efficiency criteria. In addition, there is no evidence that the allocation of funds has a positive effect on regional growth. The most likely explanation is that pork-barrel politics has played a key role in the regional distribution of funds, and probably has contributed to lowering their economic impact.
Since the early 1970s Mexico has experienced profound transformations in its economic model. It has moved from an almost closed-to-trade and public-led economy to one of the most open economies in Latin America. Mexico is currently much less guided by public sector forces than in times past (Aspe, 1993). In this context, the persistent economic disparities across Mexican states have become a grave problem. As the Zapatista revolt in Chiapas suggests, regional disparities in Mexico have become not only harmful to the national economy, also have created unpresidented demands for public services and infrastructure and bring political and social consequences. Regional policies to tackle disparities in Mexico have, however, been almost absent, with successive governments concentrating on public investment policies aimed at achieving growth at the national level (Aguilar, 1989; Katz, 1998; OECD, 1997; Palacios, 1989). Yet, many studies have pointed out that public investment in Mexico has not always achieved its aim of higher growth, nor has it generated greater territorial cohesion (Lächler & Aschauer, 1998; Nazmi & Ramirez, 1997; Palacios, 1989; Tijerina, 1995). Despite Mexico's federal structure, the regional allocation of investment has been centralized and has lacked clear mechanisms for distribution.1All public investment policies contain a efficiency and equity dimensions, which tend to follow different patterns and often represent a tradeoff (Molle, 1980; Richardson, 1978). The fundamental ethos on the efficiency side is that governments should pay more attention to those areas where the allocation of resources allows for higher returns (De la Fuente & Vives, 1995). The justification for an equity program is that it is socially, morally and politically unacceptable for different parts of the country––or, for that matter, for groups of individuals within the country––to experience great differences in standards of living. Inequality has also been proven to have some harmful effects on growth (Barro, 2000; Persson & Tabellini, 1994). Public investment policies, then, may not be considered only as a way to equalize conditions among areas in order to avoid the aforementioned problems, but also as a means to raise the overall level of development by creating conditions for higher productivity throughout Mexico.2 The role of governments, in general, and of central government, in particular, is thus key in determining the evolution of territorial disparities. Whether the main objective is to enhance the accumulation of productive factors and maximize national growth potential or to distribute economic activity more evenly across the country (and perhaps in this way also maximize growth potential), central government public policy decisions have important territorial implications. There is, however, little theoretical consensus about the territorial impact of public policy intervention. From an endogenous growth or a new economic geography perspective, national public policies aimed at enhancing overall growth may lead, as a consequence of their impact on the distribution of human capital (Lucas, 1988 and Lucas, 1993), innovation (Grossman & Helpman, 1991; Romer, 1990) and infrastructure (Faini, 1984; Martin, 1999; Martin & Rogers, 1995), to increasing returns to scale, resulting in greater divergence across regions and favoring a center-periphery pattern (Krugman, 1991; Martin, 1998; Romer, 1990). Neoclassical and other scholarly strands suggest, in contrast, that public investment may have an equalizing role, as it generates goods or activities which increase private productivity, especially in those areas with a lower initial stock of capital, resulting thus in constant or decreasing returns to scale. The empirical works of Aschauer (1989), and Munnell, 1990a and Munnell, 1990b, focusing on infrastructure public investment, or those of Barro (1990) have highlighted the positive returns of public investment as a whole and their positive impact in backward areas. The role of central governments is, from this perspective, determinant in enhancing the accumulation of productive factors and growth potential in backward regions through public investment policies. If there are factors that have a positive effect on regional growth, there is scope for the implementation of supply-side policies (Martin, 1998). Public investment in Mexico has been an important tool not only for providing infrastructure, but also for enhancing local capacities in general, and its use may help to explain the improvement in social indexes across the country (Lustig, 1998). Nevertheless, public investment has also been frequently used in a discretionary form, for example, to increase the government's presence in the economy through the acquisition of many enterprises, as was the case during the 1970s (Aspe & Beristain, 1984), leading to a skewed allocation of public funds in favor of the most developed states (Katz, 1998; Palacios, 1989; Rodrı́guez, 1997). The question that we address in this paper is thus, to what extent have national investment policies, the main focus of which has been to generate greater economic activity, actually exacerbated (or, by contrast, prevented a further growth of) regional disparities in Mexico. More specifically, we intend to determine the extent to which such investment has been: allocated according to redistribution criteria; allocated according to efficiency criteria; and an important factor of regional growth. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 introduces a brief review of the topic. Section 3 describes the structure and evolution of public investment in Mexico. Section 4 analyzes the redistributive factor and Section 5 focuses on the efficiency criteria. Section 6 discusses the impact of public investment on growth. The conclusions are presented in Section 7.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this paper has been to analyze the extent to which the allocation of public investment has followed either a pattern guided by redistribution or efficiency objectives, and the extent to which that allocation has had an impact on regional growth. The evidence shows that public investment in Mexico tends to be concentrated in just a few relatively well-off regions. Moreover, the analysis in this paper suggests that although the different national plans had as their stated goal the reduction of regional disparities through the allocation of public investment, that allocation has been regressive; that is, the richer states received more than their fair share of public investment throughout the period of analysis. The introduction of population density measurements into the analysis to test for bottlenecks caused by population concentration has proven, on the whole, not to be a significant factor for the allocation of public investment. We have also examined the question of efficiency in the allocation of public investment. The findings point out that, as in the case of redistribution, efficiency has not been a key concern in the allocation of public investment among regions. If public investment were efficiently allocated, then it would follow the rate of return criterion, which is not the case. It is likely that political interests and lobbying have played an important role in determining how investment is assigned. Powerful areas that have more resources for lobbying, and in areas with a high political pay-off seem to have reaped the lion's share of public investment. This has resulted not only in a decrease in the rate of return to investment, but also has contributed to reduce the impact of that investment on growth. The effects of public investment in Mexico on regional growth are thus blurred. In the 1970–85 period the variables for public stock and investment show a lack of significance. One body of research has suggested that investment during this period was allocated according to political interests. In addition, that investment served to increase government intervention in the economy through the acquisition of enterprises. It is therefore likely that public investment had only a short-run Keynesian effect. This is supported by the fact that the only relationship found was between growth and the rate of growth of public investment, while testing for the investment accumulated in the period or the initial stock of infrastructure the results do not show any significance. Budgetary cuts have contributed to reduce even further the association of public investment with growth after 1985. This lack of significance may be also due to lobbying and to the high political pay-offs in a period marked by increasing electoral competition, which may have affected the allocation of public investment and, therefore, limited further its effect on regional productivity. In addition, it seems that federal investment has been used as a tool to influence voting behavior in the states. Contrary to the findings for the European regions, where, although it could be claimed that European public investment has not managed to deliver greater regional growth in peripheral areas and convergence, it has been an instrument for redistribution (Boldrin & Canova, 2001; Rodrı́guez-Pose & Fratesi, 2004; Vanhoudt et al., 2000), in the Mexican regions public investment has not been effectively used either as instrument of redistribution or as engine for regional growth and convergence. The findings thus stress the presence of a possible pork-barrel effect in the use of public investment at the regional level in Mexico (Costa-Font et al., 2003). Although the presence of pork barrel in public investment in Mexico does not completely rule out a possible impact of public investment on regional growth, especially in less-developed regions, it does suggest that there is still considerable room for maneuver in order to improve the focus and scope of public investment policies, if they are to become a real redistributive and/or growth enhancing policy.