How much does infrastructure boost an economy?

A new post by Peter Dizikes summarizing David Donaldson’s new paper on how railroads helped India trade and grow: “railroads fostered commerce that raised real agricultural income by 16 percent.”

“Donaldson’s paper on the subject, “Railroads of the Raj: Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure,” just published in the American Economic Review, may also speak to the importance of infrastructure more broadly. After all, as he notes in the paper, about 20 percent of World Bank lending in the developing world goes to infrastructure projects. And in the United States, debate rolls on about the value of building and refurbishing America’s roads, bridges, railroads, ports, and airports.”

“And while every country is different, and circumstances change over time, Donaldson’s research suggests that the growth India experienced as its railroads grew was specifically the result of increased trade, a general finding that could be applied to other countries and other eras.”

Posted by at 11:39 AM

Labels: Inclusive Growth, Macro Demystified


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