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Trends in infrastructure in Latin America, 1980-2001, Volume 1
Author:Calderon, Cesar; Serven, Luis; Country:Latin America;
Date Stored:2004/09/23Document Date:2004/09/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Economic Theory & Research; Agricultural Research; Banks & Banking Reform; Urban Services to the Poor; Public Sector Economics; Decentralization
Language:EnglishRegion:Latin America & Caribbean
Report Number:WPS3401Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 3401
Volume No:1  

Summary: There is widespread concern across Latin America that the provision of infrastructure services has suffered as a consequence of the retrenchment of the public sector and the insufficient response of the private sector to the opening up of infrastructure industries to private participation in most countries. The authors document the recent trends in infrastructure stocks and infrastructure investment in major Latin American economies. Using an updated dataset constructed for this task, the authors describe the evolution of the quantity and quality of infrastructure assets-power, transport, and telecommunications-as well as the investment expenditures of the public and private sectors. They find that Latin America lags behind the international norm in terms of infrastructure quantity and quality, and there is little evidence that the gap may be closing-except in the telecommunications sector. Furthermore, overall infrastructure investment has fallen, as a combined result of the retrenchment of public investment and the limited response of the private sector, which has been mostly confined to the telecommunications industry. However, there is considerable disparity across countries. On the whole the data show that the countries most successful in attracting large volumes of private investment (Bolivia, Chile, and Colombia) are precisely those where public investment has remained high.

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