4. Survey of Existing Statistical Work

4. Survey of Existing Statistical Work

This survey is focused on existing statistical works that are similar to this one. It covers only undertakings by other domestic and foreign government agencies that are comparable to either the Department of Transportation or the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. For broader coverage of works on a smaller scale and by lower-level government agencies, one may refer to Lakshmanan (Eno, 1996, Appendix C) and Weisbrod (2000).

Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has in recent years (1992, 1993, 1995, and 1999) published its analysis on Trends in Public Infrastructure Outlays and the President's Proposals for Infrastructure Spending. The analysis is based on data supplied by the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Census Bureau, and CBO's Budget Analysis Division. As identified in its 1999 paper (Appendix), all the government capital outlays for transportation infrastructure are included in the public infrastructure outlays. They are highways, mass transit, rail, aviation, and water transportation (the other three types of public infrastructure are water resources, water supply, and wastewater treatment). Based on its analysis, the published CBO paper on this subject divides spending into capital outlays (primarily the purchase, construction, or rehabilitation of physical assets) and non-capital outlays (primarily the operation and maintenance of physical assets) for each type of public infrastructure. All the amounts are presented in both current dollars and constant dollars. The analysis covers the period of 1956 up to the latest year for which the budget estimates are available. Through 1994, based on the U.S. Census Bureau's Government Finances series (available only through 1994), CBO calculated government spending, in both amount and percentage share, by the level of government, the total including all levels of government, federal, and state and local. Federal spending is further divided into direct and indirect outlays, with the latter comprising grants and loans to state or local government entities; state and local outlays are categorized as total and net outlays, with the former including grants and loans from the federal government. As a result of this detailed calculation, the analysis shows trends in relative contributions of federal, state, and local governments split between capital and non-capital outlays and priorities for infrastructure programs. Since 1995, the CBO analysis of trends in public infrastructure spending has covered only federal government outlays.

Office of Management and Budget

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publishes historical tables that contain several time series on federal government capital outlays that are somewhat related to our work. The latest version of Historical Tables (OMB, 2003) covers the period of 1940 to 2003 for the federal government outlays on major public physical capital. In particular, Table 9.6 in Section 9 contains information on "grants for major public physical capital investment" in transportation by mode (highways, urban mass transportation, airports, and other). However, the publication does not provide further breakdown by asset type (i.e., infrastructure vs. other capital outlays) since most of these grants are spent by state and local governments, over which OMB does not necessarily have control. Furthermore, the OMB publication is based on the federal government fiscal year, which is not directly comparable to statistics on transportation investment made by state and local governments and the private sector including both business and households.