Cover: Public works as countercyclical fiscal policy

Public works as countercyclical fiscal policy

Published 1977

by Georges Vernez

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback15 pages $20.00

Describes research at RAND on assessing the job creation effects of alternative public works investments, and identifies factors that might improve the design of countercyclical public works programs. Some findings: (1) No single countercyclical program can effectively target all regions, industries and groups in the labor force. (2) Public works projects do effectively target industries most affected by recessions--construction and durable goods, but the ability to target a specific region is lower than public service employment and revenue-sharing programs. Also, they do not target certain groups, such as youths and females. The key problems in a countercyclical public works program are reducing legislative lag, and avoiding local bottlenecks in the construction sector. This can be minimized by: (1) Automatic release of funds under prespecified economic conditions. (2) Distributing funds among areas according to availability of construction workers and whether local cycles are leading or lagging a national recession.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.