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Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized8885Infrastructure and FinanceEvidence from India’s GQ Highway NetworkAbhiman DasEjaz GhaniArti GroverWilliam KerrRamana NandaPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPolicy Research Working PaperMacroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global PracticeJune 2019

Policy Research Working Paper 8885AbstractThis paper uses the construction of India’s Golden Quadrangle central highway network, together with comprehensiveloan data from the Reserve Bank of India, to investigatethe interaction between infrastructure development andfinancial sector depth. The paper identifies a disproportionate increase in loan count and average loan size indistricts along the Golden Quadrangle highway network,using stringent specifications with industry and districtfixed effects. The results hold in straight-line instrumentalvariable frameworks and are not present in placebo tests withanother highway that was planned to be upgraded at thesame time as Golden Quadrangle but subsequently delayed.Importantly, however, the results are concentrated in districts with stronger initial financial development, suggestingthat although financing responds to large infrastructureinvestments and helps spur real economic outcomes, initialfinancial sector development might play an important rolein determining where real activity will grow.This paper is a product of the Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice. It is part of a larger effort by theWorld Bank to provide open access to its research and make a contribution to development policy discussions around theworld. Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at http://www.worldbank.org/prwp. The authors maybe contacted at [email protected] Policy Research Working Paper Series disseminates the findings of work in progress to encourage the exchange of ideas about developmentissues. An objective of the series is to get the findings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. The papers carry thenames of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely thoseof the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank andits affiliated organizations, or those of the Executive Directors of the World Bank or the governments they represent.Produced by the Research Support Team

Infrastructure and Finance: Evidence from India'sGQ Highway Network**AuthorABHIMAN DASEJAZ GHANIARTI GROVERIIM AhmedabadWorld BankWorld BankWILLIAM KERRRAMANA NANDAHarvard Business SchoolHarvard Business Schoolinstitutions and contact details:Das: Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad,[email protected]; Ghani: World Bank, [email protected]; Grover Goswami: World Bank,[email protected]; Kerr: Harvard University, Bank of Finland, and NBER, [email protected]; Nanda:Harvard University and NBER, [email protected] Acknowledgments: We are grateful to seminarparticipants for helpful suggestions/comments. We are indebted to Louis Maiden, Katie McWilliams,Sarah Elizabeth Antos, and Henry Jewell for excellent data work and maps. Funding for this projectwas graciously provided by a Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries grant by theCentre for Economic Policy Research, Harvard Business School, and the World Bank's Multi-Donor TradeTrust Fund. Das was with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), when this project was initiated. The viewsexpressed in the paper are not the views of the RBI, or of any institution the authors are currentlyassociated with.

1IntroductionIn recent years, there has been widespread acceptance of the view that finance playsa fundamental role in shaping the rate, direction and location of real economic activity(Levine, 1997). Financial development has also been shown to be a key driver of economicgrowth through its role in impacting entrepreneurship and firm dynamics (King and Levine1993a,b; Kerr and Nanda, 2009), innovation (Kortum and Lerner, 2000; Hsu, Tian and Xu,2014; Nanda and Nicholas, 2014) and reallocation towards more efficient firms (Jayaratneand Strahan 1996; Rajan and Zingales, 1998; Bertrand, Schoar and Thesmar 2007).While this role of finance is well-established, a key policy question still remains: canone spur growth and development in areas with low financial development through othermeans such as infrastructure spending, or is finance a necessary condition for growthto occur? From both a theoretical and policy standpoint, this question is important forseveral reasons. First, infrastructure spending is increasingly seen as a key policy lever forgovernments to drive economic growth. Rapidly expanding countries like India and Chinaface severe constraints on their transportation infrastructure, which has been describedby academics and business leaders as a critical hurdle for further development. Evenin advanced economies, continued urbanization, demographic trends, and climate changecall for an acceleration of investment in infrastructure. However, there is a very limitedunderstanding of the economic impact of those projects and their interaction with thefinancial sector.1Second, the degree to which financial development is necessary for economic growth hasimportant implications for models of development and policy. If infrastructure spendingcan overcome the limitations of weak financial development, this is an important insightfor policy makers and nation builders as they can proceed with such projects in confidence that the complements of financial markets will work themselves out. Infrastructureinvestment can then also help with convergence of regions with less developed financialmarkets towards regions at the frontier. On the other hand, if a baseline level of financialdevelopment is necessary for growth, then the effects of such spending will be uneven.Moreover, a lack of attention to prior financial development could lead to a divergence1Although existing literature emphasizes the importance of access to finance for firm-levelinvestment, it does not intersect with studies on investments in infrastructure (e.g., Chandra andThompson, 2000; Duranton and Turner, 2011; Banerjee et al., 2012).1

between regions that are above a threshold level of financial development compared tothose that are not.A key empirical challenge in addressing this question is that large-scale infrastructure investment is typically endogenous, making it extremely difficult to causally identifywhether a strong financial market needs to be in place first or whether financial development appropriately mirrors and develops alongside major investment efforts. We studythis question using India's Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) highways investment as a naturalexperiment, examining the spatial development of banking at the district level before andafter. The GQ network connects the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, andKolkata and is the fifth-longest highway in the world. Conceived in 1999, the GQ upgrades began in 2001, with a target completion date of 2004, and 95% of the work wascompleted by the end of 2006.Several studies have subsequently documented the importance of the GQ upgradesfor Indian manufacturing development along the highway system but have not focusedon the role of finance.2 This project connects the GQ work to the financial sector andmakes two main contributions: First, we use comprehensive and detailed data on banklending across India over an extended period of time, drawn from the Reserve Bank ofIndia. This database gives us detailed information on each outstanding loan above asmall threshold, reported annually by every branch of every scheduled commercial bankin India. We have invested substantially over this project in accessing and preparingthese data. They constitute a major new tool for the economic and financial developmentand growth literatures. Second, the context of the GQ infrastructure project allows usto generate strong causal results of the relationship between infrastructure investmentand local financial development, using straight line IV analyses and comparing results tothe planned, but not completed NS-EW corridor. To understand the interaction betweeninfrastructure and finance, we examine how the results vary based on the pre-existingfinancial development of districts adjacent to the highway. This allows us to speak directly2 Using a very short time window, Datta (2011) finds almost immediate evidence of improved inventoryefficiency and input sourcing for businesses situated along the GQ network. Ghani et al. (2016, 2017)demonstrate greater formal sector manufacturing growth and entrepreneurship in districts located within10 kilometers from the GQ network compared to those farther away. They further highlight urban-ruraldifferences, changes in allocative efficiency, and causal assessments. In total, organizedmanufacturing output increased by 15%-20% due to the highway system. Khanna (2014) examineschanges in night-time luminosity around the GQ upgrades, finding evidence for a spreading-out ofeconomic development.2

to the question of whether financial development was necessary for the real effects to bemanifested.We find a strong response in lending activity in districts adjacent to the GQ highwaynetwork, manifested in terms of both loan counts and larger loan sizes. Our results arestrongest in districts where there was new construction (as opposed to upgrades) anddynamic specifications support the effect taking hold shortly after construction.Moreover, our results hold in straight-line IV frameworks and are also not present in'placebo tests' with a second highway that was planned to be upgraded at the sametime as GQ but subsequently delayed. Our results point to bank lending responding tothe increase in real activity that arose from improved transportation infrastructure.Importantly, how- ever, we find our results are entirely concentrated in regions withstrong initial financial development. Lending activity did not increase and in somespecifications is seen to fall slightly in regions with initially low financial development,suggesting that while finance responded to help support increased real activity, the levelof financial development played a critical role in determining where real economicactivity grew. These results suggest that the initial level of financial development mightbe critical in shaping how (and where) infrastructure investment can jumpstart realeconomic activity.Our study is the first to connect micro-level financial development with plausiblyexogenous infrastructure development. This is not possible for the United States, wheremost research has traditionally focused, due to the older nature of the Eisenhower highwaysystem. The later timing of the Indian investment and better collection of financial dataover recent decades provide unprecedented platforms. Moreover, prior work mostly identifies how the existence of transportation networks impacts activity, but we can quantifythe impact from investments into improving road networks compared to placebo networksthat are not enhanced. This provides powerful empirical identification, and the comparisons are informative for the economic impact of road upgrade investments, which arevery large and growing.3This project also contributes to important questions facing India as it seeks to build3 Through2006 and including the GQ upgrades, India invested USD 71 billion for the National Highways Development Program to upgrade, rehabilitate, and widen India's major highways to internationalstandards. A recent Committee on Estimates report for the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highwayssuggests an ongoing investment need for Indian highways of about USD 15 billion annually for the next15 to 20 years (The Economic Times, April 29, 2012).3

the infrastructure, ranging from highways to ports to cities to broadband, required toenable its continued growth and modernization. Beyond India, several recent studies findmixed evidence regarding economic effects for non-targeted locations due to transportationinfrastructure in China or other developing economies.4 These studies complement thelarger literature on the United States and those undertaken in historical settings.5Related literatures consider non-transportation infrastructure investments in developing economies (e.g., Duflo and Pande, 2007; Dinkelman, 2011) and the returns to publiccapital investment (e.g., Aschauer, 1989; Munell, 1990; Otto and Voss, 1994). Severalstudies evaluate the performance of Indian manufacturing, especially after theliberalization reforms (e.g., Ahluwalia, 2000; Besley and Burgess, 2004; Kochhar etal., 2006). Some authors argue that Indian manufacturing has been constrained byinadequate infrastructure and that industries that are dependent upon infrastructurehave not been able to reap the maximum benefits of the liberalization's reforms (e.g.,Mitra et al., 1998; Gupta et al., 2008; Gupta and Kumar, 2010).2India's Highways and the GQ Project6Road transportation accounts for 65% of freight movement and 80% of passenger trafficin India. National highways constitute about 1.7% of this road network, carrying morethan 40% of the total traffic volume.7 To meet its transportation needs, India launchedits National Highways Development Project (NHDP) in 2001. This project, the largesthighway project ever undertaken by India, aimed at improving the GQ network, theNorth-South and East-West (NS-EW) Corridors, Port Connectivity, and other projects inseveral phases. The total length of national highways planned to be upgraded (i.e.,4 For example,Brown et al. (2008), Ulimwengu et al. (2009), Baum-Snow et al. (2012), Banerjee et al.(2012), Roberts et al. (2012), Baum-Snow and Turner (2013), Faber (2014), Xu and Nakajima (2017),Qin (2017), and Aggarwal (2018).5 For example, Fernald (1998), Chandra

Infrastructure and Finance Evidence from India’s GQ Highway Network Abhiman Das Ejaz Ghani Arti Grover William Kerr Ramana Nanda Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice June 2019 Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized. Produced by the Research upport Team Abstract e Policy Research Working Paper Series ...

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