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Should transportation spending be included in a stimulus program? a review of the literature

  • Sylvain Leduc
  • Daniel J. Wilson

Transportation spending often plays a prominent role in government efforts to stimulate the economy during downturns. Yet, despite the frequent use of transportation spending as a form of fiscal stimulus, there is little known about its short- or medium-run effectiveness. Does it translate quickly into higher employment and economic activity or does it impact the economy only slowly over time? This paper reviews the empirical findings in the literature for the United States and other developed economies and compares the effects of transportation spending to those of other types of government spending.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2012-15.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2012-15
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  1. Steven Fazzari & James Morley & Irina Panovska, 2013. "State-Dependent Effects of Fiscal Policy," Discussion Papers 2012-27A, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  2. Chandra, Amitabh & Thompson, Eric, 2000. "Does public infrastructure affect economic activity?: Evidence from the rural interstate highway system," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 457-490, July.
  3. Daniel Wilson & Sylvain Leduc, 2012. "Roads to Prosperity or Bridges to Nowhere? Theory and Evidence on the Impact of Public Infrastructure Investment," 2012 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "Fiscal spending multipliers: evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Working Paper Series 2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Acconcia, Antonio & Corsetti, Giancarlo & Simonelli, Saverio, 2011. "Mafia and Public Spending: Evidence on the Fiscal Multiplier from a Quasi-experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8305, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1981. "Output Effects of Government Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1086-1121, December.
  7. Christophe Kamps, 2005. "The Dynamic Effects of Public Capital: VAR Evidence for 22 OECD Countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 533-558, August.
  8. Leigh, Andrew & Neill, Christine, 2011. "Can national infrastructure spending reduce local unemployment? Evidence from an Australian roads program," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 150-153.
  9. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Qian, Nancy, 2012. "On the Road: Access to Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Growth in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 8874, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Price V. Fishback & Valentina Kachanovskaya, 2010. "In Search of the Multiplier for Federal Spending in the States During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 16561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Government spending: an economic boost?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue feb6.
  12. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alfredo M. Pereira, 2000. "Is All Public Capital Created Equal?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 513-518, August.
  14. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
  15. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
  16. Kenneth N. Kuttner & Adam S. Posen, 2002. "Passive Savers and Fiscal Policy Effectiveness in Japan," Working Paper Series WP02-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  17. Alfredo Pereira & Jorge Andraz, 2004. "Public highway spending and state spillovers in the USA," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(12), pages 785-788.
  18. Kuttner, Kenneth N. & Posen, Adam S., 2002. "Fiscal Policy Effectiveness in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 536-558, December.
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