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How Infrastructure Investments Support the U.S. Economy


  • Robert Pollin
  • James Heintz
  • Heidi Garrett-Peltier


The U.S. system of public infrastructure has deteriorated badly over the past generation. The breaching of New Orleans’ water levees in 2005 and the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis in 2007 offered tragic testimony to this long-acknowledged reality. The project of rebuilding our infrastructure now needs to be embraced as a first-tier economic policy priority, and not simply to prevent repetitions of the disasters in New Orleans and Minneapolis. Infrastructure investments—particularly core economic infrastructure in t energy, transportation, and water and sewerage—are essential for the functioning of the U.S. economy. With the deterioration of economic conditions in recent months, public investment is back on the policy agenda, as a job-creation program linked to the need to revitalize the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. In this report, Robert Pollin, James Heintz and Heidi Garrett-Peltier examine the employment impacts of an expanded infrastructure investment program and what it would take to create millions of jobs. They examine the long-run impacts of such a program on productivity and economic growth, and offer brief observations on U.S. competitiveness and environmental sustainability that emerge from the findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Pollin & James Heintz & Heidi Garrett-Peltier, 2009. "How Infrastructure Investments Support the U.S. Economy," Published Studies peri_infrastructure_inves, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:perips:peri_infrastructure_investments

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    Cited by:

    1. Schreiner, Lena & Madlener, Reinhard, 2022. "Investing in power grid infrastructure as a flexibility option: A DSGE assessment for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    2. Panova, Yulia & Hilmola, Olli-Pekka, 2015. "Justification and evaluation of dry port investments in Russia," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 61-70.
    3. Ianchovichina, Elena & Estache, Antonio & Foucart, Renaud & Garsous, Grégoire & Yepes, Tito, 2013. "Job Creation through Infrastructure Investment in the Middle East and North Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 209-222.
    4. Farhadi, Minoo, 2015. "Transport infrastructure and long-run economic growth in OECD countries," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 73-90.
    5. Jeffrey Thompson, 2010. "Prioritizing Approaches to Economic Development in New England: Skills, Infrastructure, and Tax Incentives," Published Studies priorities_september7_per, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    6. Jeannette Wicks-Lim, 2013. "A stimulus for affirmative action? The impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on women and minority workers in construction," Chapters, in: Jeannette Wicks-Lim & Robert Pollin (ed.), Capitalism on Trial, chapter 16, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Md. Anwar Hossain & Crispin H. V. Cooper, 2021. "Spatial network analysis as a tool for measuring change in accessibility over time: Limits of transport investment as a driver for UK regional development," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 2124-2148, December.
    8. Laura Tuck & Jordan Schwartz & Luis Andres, 2009. "Crisis in LAC : Infrastructure Investment and the Potential for Employment Generation," World Bank Publications - Reports 10986, The World Bank Group.
    9. Robert Pollin, 2011. "U.S. Government Deficits and Debt Amid the Great Recession: What the Evidence Shows," Working Papers wp263, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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