The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the empirical evidence on the contribution that government and, in particular, capital expenditure make to the growth performance of a sample of developing countries. Using the Denison growth accounting approach, this study finds that social expenditures may have a significant impact on growth in the short run, but infrastructure expenditures may have little influence. While current expenditures for directly productive purposes may exert a positive influence, capital expenditure in these sectors appears to exert a negative influence. Experiments with other explanatory variables confirm the importance of the growth of exports to the overall growth rate.