The Macroeconomic Effects of Public Investment: Evidence from Advanced Economies


Abdul d Abiad ; Davide Furceri ; Petia Topalova

Publication Date:

May 4, 2015

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper provides new evidence of the macroeconomic effects of public investment in advanced economies. Using public investment forecast errors to identify the causal effect of government investment in a sample of 17 OECD economies since 1985 and model simulations, the paper finds that increased public investment raises output, both in the short term and in the long term, crowds in private investment, and reduces unemployment. Several factors shape the macroeconomic effects of public investment. When there is economic slack and monetary accommodation, demand effects are stronger, and the public-debt-to-GDP ratio may actually decline. Public investment is also more effective in boosting output in countries with higher public investment efficiency and when it is financed by issuing debt.


Working Paper No. 2015/095



Publication Date:

May 4, 2015



Stock No:




Please address any questions about this title to