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Economically Efficient Composition of Rural Infrastructure Investment


  • Burton, Mark
  • Wilson, Wesley W.


Public sentiment routinely supports public-sector investment in infrastructure. Moreover, this view exists in both rural and metropolitan settings. Often, government is expected to directly support or, at least, guide the provision of transportation, telecommunications, and various utility services by supplying some or all of the necessary facilities. The current paper, first develops a more precise economic explanation for why public-sector infrastructure investment is economically efficient public policy. Next, by specifically accounting for the spatial nature of network infrastructures and commerce, we describe why many necessary investments must be sited in and/or available to rural communities. Finally, with an admittedly speculative eye to the future, we offer tentative forecasts regarding the nature and value of efficient, forward-looking rural infrastructure outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Burton, Mark & Wilson, Wesley W., 2018. "Economically Efficient Composition of Rural Infrastructure Investment," Issue Reports 277659, Farm Foundation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ffispa:277659
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.277659

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    Cited by:

    1. Ivan T. Kandilov & Mitch Renkow, 2020. "The Impacts Of The Usda Broadband Loan And Grant Programs: Moving Toward Estimating A Rate Of Return," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 58(3), pages 1129-1145, July.

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