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Highways to Success or Byways to Waste

Author

Listed:
  • Rubaba Ali
  • A. Federico Barra
  • Claudia Berg
  • Richard Damania
  • John Nash
  • Jason Russ

Abstract

Roads are the arteries through which the world’s economies pulse. Roads connect sellers to markets, workers to jobs, students to education, and the sick to hospitals. Yet in much of the developing world—and particularly in Africa—adequate roads are lacking. Accordingly, investment in transportation remains a key strategy for development agencies. Roughly $6.8 billion per year is spent in Sub-Saharan Africa on paving roads, and the World Bank invests more on roads than on education, health, and social services combined. Despite the large sums spent on transportation, there have been no assessments to determine whether these significant investments help or hinder outcomes, and the methodologies for evaluating which road projects to fund or not to fund have been disjointed and unreliable. Highways to Success or Byways to Waste: Estimating the Economic Benefits of Roads in Africa hopes to establish a new methodology for prioritizing funding that can be applied to diverse scenarios, regions, and projects. This book demonstrates how modern econometrics and geospatial techniques can be combined to analyze the latest available geo-referenced datasets at the smallest possible scale to answer some of the most important questions in development. Aimed at researchers from across the spectrum of international development, this book seeks to be a reference guide for all who seek new tools and insights into the many issues, both technical and nontechnical, of this important field.

Suggested Citation

  • Rubaba Ali & A. Federico Barra & Claudia Berg & Richard Damania & John Nash & Jason Russ, 2015. "Highways to Success or Byways to Waste," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 22551, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:22551
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