Investment and Growth: The Impact of Britain's Post-War Trunk Roads Programme
In Great Britain, a basic inter-urban network of motorways was completed in a very short period between the end of 1959 and 1972. We calculate that this substantial investment had the potential to reduce most inter-urban journey times by about one third. In spite of this, a recent OECD study suggested that the investment had no discernible positive impact on the trend rate of economic growth. We attribute this outcome to a serious misalignment of the early investments with the then predominant flows of industrial and commercial traffics and a significant, and probably endogenous, increase in real wages in a road transport industry in which labour productivity was slow to improve. We conclude with a number of policy recommendations.
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Volume (Year): 35 (2015)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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