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Understanding Public Spending Trends for Infrastructure in Developing Countries (Inglês)

Evidence of public expenditure on infrastructure is extremely sparse. Little is known about the trends and patterns of infrastructure expenditure, and there is no real basis for assessing the adequacy and efficiency of infrastructure spending. Drawing on the World Bank’s novel BOOST database, this paper provides a first relatively disaggregated picture of infrastructure spending trends and patterns for a large sample of more than 70 developing countries covering 2010–18, drilling down into expenditure by sector for roads as well as electricity, and distinguishing operating from capital expenditure. Complementary sources of data are tapped to allow comparison between expenditure patterns on and off budget. The study finds that on-budget expenditure on infrastructure has been low both in absolute terms (1 percent of gross domestic product) and relative terms (5 percent of total public spending), as well as declining over time. Overall, infrastructure spending declined by about one-third over 2010–18 (with the road sector bearing the brunt of the decrease), and now lies well below estimates of the required levels, except in a handful of cases. There is evidence that low-income countries, despite lower spending envelopes, attach greater priority to public investment and infrastructure spending than their middle-income counterparts. Econometric analysis suggests that infrastructure spending in low- and middle-income countries has been historically procyclical, although to a lesser degree than total expenditure. In the transport sector, road funds are shown to play a substantial role in funding road maintenance, appearing to improve the adequacy of funding, while attenuating pronounced capital biases in road sector spending, but there is little evidence of efficiency improvements over time.


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    Foster,Vivien, Rana,Anshul, Gorgulu,Nisan

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    Documento de trabalho sobre pesquisa de políticas

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    Understanding Public Spending Trends for Infrastructure in Developing Countries

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    public investment on infrastructure; public investment in infrastructure; infrastructure spending; maintenance cost per kilometer; world crude oil price; cost of road maintenance; total length of road; operation and maintenance expenditure; road sector; road sector expenditure; road maintenance activity; transport and energy; per capita term; public spending trend; scale of production; scale production; improvement in productivity; road maintenance expenditure; aggregate public expenditure; panel data model; efficiency of infrastructure; state-owned enterprise; public-private partnership; total factor productivity; types of expenditure; crude oil production; efficiency of expenditure; cost of production; total public expenditure; government infrastructure spending; fixed effect model; maintenance of road; evidence of inefficiency; real government spending; source of funding; impulse response; gross national income; central government entity; country income group; types of road; component of infrastructure; public private partnership; central government expenditure; case of electricity; public investment account; operations and maintenance; exploratory data analysis; domestic tax revenue; total public spending; central government responsibility; oil price fluctuation; expenditure by sector; availability of data; central government budget; secondary road network; economies of scale; infrastructure expenditure; Learning and Innovation Credit; road spending; road expenditure; capital expenditure; financial statement; Toll Road; paved road; output shock; electricity sector; road investment; Fiscal policies; fiscal policy; adequate resources; Road Funds; unpaved road; private investment; technological change; infrastructure sector; cross-country comparison; dynamic relationship; electricity spending; output growth; disaggregated analysis; output multiplier; correlation coefficient; federal state; data limitation; power utilities; power utility; domestic spending; budget datum; large subsidy; green box; high share; budgetary expenditure; unit spending; overall expenditure; financing flow; road quality; public budget; total productivity; vector autoregression; technological progress; efficiency gain; budget expenditure; government spent; primary focus; electricity expenditure; overall budget; donor agencies; business cycle; econometric technique; budgetary source; energy infrastructure; industrial country; ample evidence; annual subsidy; utility financial; budget envelope; capital subsidy; political structure; empirical study; electricity subsidies; tariff revenue; government fiscal; capital formation; geographic region; private road; toll revenue; aggregate expenditure; average spending; public source; high spending; ppp finance; several times; development target; allocation decision; adequate maintenance; shadow toll; cost of maintenance; quantitative indicators; urban roads; operational expenditure; road asset; existing asset; average result; technological trends; massive decline; scale effect; productivity change; resource flow; confidence interval; cyclical movement; Natural Resources; economic diversification; world price; cyclical behavior; individual sectors; transport expenditure; causal effect; correlation analysis; statistical significance; output fluctuation; first year; cumulative effect; identification criterion; fiscal response; long-term effect; cumulative impact; fuel levy; fund expenditure; electric utilities; fund statements; Donor Contribution; financial flow; data availability; multiple sources; time trend; negligible amount; Research Support; econometric analysis; capital spending; institutional channel; separate category; government institution; foreign donor; state entity; financial account; fiscal cost; small island; data quality; sustainable technology; Infrastructure Finance; multilateral commitments; development policy; infrastructure financing; open access; subnational authority; subnational expenditure



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