THE ECONOMIC PAYOFF OF EXPANSION OF PUBLIC ROADS, BRIDGES AND HIGHWAYS IN THE UNITED STATES
American transportation infrastructure is in a state of disrepair, and the political consensus at the national level to fund infrastructure improvements is in similarly poor condition. While investments in infrastructure--particularly the Interstate Highway System--were widely credited with promoting economic growth through the latter half of the 20th century, there are significant disagreements in the literature about the economic benefits of continued investment. This paper looks at the relationship between the growth of transportation infrastructure and economic growth using a fixed effects analysis of 50 states and the District of Columbia over 31 years. The models estimated generally do not produce statistically significant results that demonstrate a significant relationship between growth in transportation infrastructure stock and economic growth. Several variations of the primary model do show different effects across regions and time.
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