Efficient Transportation Infrastructure Policy
AbstractThis paper offers a perspective on paying for and investing in the transportation infrastructure. The following example illustrates the need to move away from the current national mind set. Pick any pothole-laden, congested two-lane road in an urban area. Suppose public funds are used to widen the road to four lanes and to repave it. Benefits will immediately flow from this investment in the form of lower travel time and less vehicle damage, but before long, the road will again fill to capacity and deteriorates. This cycle can be broken only if infrastructure is priced and invested in more efficiently. If the pothole-laden road is kept to two lanes when it is repaved but vehicles are required to pay efficient tolls based on congestion and pavement wear, then the road's capacity is far less likely to be exceeded during peak periods and its pavement will remain in good condition. Making efficient use of current transportation capacity will reduce the need for massive public investment in airports and roads and will prevent the recurrence of infrastructure problems.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 5 (1991)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aschauer, David Alan, 1989.
"Is public expenditure productive?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
- Small, Kenneth A., 1983. "The incidence of congestion tolls on urban highways," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 90-111, January.
- Alicia H. Munnell, 1992. "Policy Watch: Infrastructure Investment and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 189-198, Fall.
- Bai, Chong-En & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Excludable public goods: Pricing and social welfare maximization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 72-74, May.
- Small, Kenneth A., 1997.
"Economics and Urban Transportation Policy in the United States,"
University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers
qt7mz1326k, University of California Transportation Center.
- Small, Kenneth A., 1997. "Economics and urban transportation policy in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 671-691, November.
- FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide & Morgenroth, Edgar & Smyth, Diarmaid, 1999. "National Investment Priorities For The Period 2000-2006," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS33.
- David Levinson & David Gillen, 1997. "The Full Cost of Intercity Highway Transportation," Working Papers 199704, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
- Musisi, A.A., 2006. "Physical public infrastructure and private sector output/productivity in Uganda: a firm level analysis," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19182, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
- Productivity Commission, 2001. "Progress in rail reform," Others 0108004, EconWPA.
- Gorman, Michael F., 2008. "Evaluating the public investment mix in US freight transportation infrastructure," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-14, January.
- Jan K. Brueckner & Anton Goebel & Esko Niskanen, 1997. "Airline Deregulation: The American Experience and Prospects for Europe," Discussion Papers 149, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
- Wei Zou & Fen Zhang & Ziyin Zhuang & Hairong Song, 2008. "Transport Infrastructure, Growth, and Poverty Alleviation: Empirical Analysis of China," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 9(2), pages 345-371, November.
- Ernst R. Berndt & Bengt Hansson, 1991. "Measuring the Contribution of Public Infrastructure Capital in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 3842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Berndt, Ernst & Hansson, Bengt, 1992. "Measuring the Contribution of Capital in Sweden," Working Paper Series 365, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.