OECD Economics Department Working Papers

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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

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Meeting Infrastructure Needs in Australia You or your institution have access to this content

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Claude Giorno1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

24 mars 2011
Bibliographic information
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Adequate and well-functioning infrastructure is a key ingredient to growth and well-being. The benefits to activity of efficient spending in energy, water, transport and communication sectors go well beyond their contribution to capital accumulation. Good infrastructure facilitates trade, bolsters market integration and competition, fosters the dissemination of ideas and innovations and enhances access to resources and public services. These benefits are particularly important for Australia because of its size, the geographical dispersion of its population and production centres, and its remoteness from other markets. Nevertheless, Australia has an important infrastructure deficit. This is in part due to underinvestment in the 1980s and 1990s, while the rebound in capital spending at the beginning of the 2000s has been insufficient to deal with capacity shortages exacerbated by the strong demand generated by the mining boom, expected population growth, technological progress and environmental concerns. To ease these shortages, the authorities have put bolstering infrastructure to the top of their economic policy agenda. This entails greater government expenditure in this area, but also structural reforms to optimise public and private investment choices and the use of existing facilities with better regulation. This chapter reviews the state of Australia’s infrastructure and the government’s action programme.
network industries, infrastructure, productivity
Classification JEL:
  • D23: Microeconomics / Production and Organizations / Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
  • H41: Public Economics / Publicly Provided Goods / Public Goods
  • H43: Public Economics / Publicly Provided Goods / Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
  • H54: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
  • L33: Industrial Organization / Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise / Comparison of Public and Private Enterprises and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
  • L97: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Utilities: General
  • L98: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Industry Studies: Utilities and Transportation: Government Policy
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