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Road infrastructure and economic development : some diagnostic indicators

  • Queiroz, Cesar
  • Gautam, Surhid
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    The authors investigate the association between per capita income and the magnitude and quality of road infrastructure. They adopt an empirical approach, directly comparing or correlating a countries income with selected variables associated with existing road networks. Cross-section analysis of data from 98 countries, and time series analysis of U.S. data since 1950, show consistent and significant associations between economic development (per capita GNP) and road infrastructure (per capita length of paved network). The data shows that the per capita stock of road infrastructure in high income economies is dramatically greater than in middle- and low-income economies. For instance, the average density of paved roads (km/million inhabitants) varies from 170 in low-income economies to 1,660 in middle-income and 10,110 in high-income economies. That is, the average density of paved roads in high-income economies is 59 times that in the low-income group. Road conditions also seem to be associated with economic development: the density of paved roads in good condition varies from 40 km/million inhabitants in low-income economies to 470 middle-income and 8,550 in high-income economies. The empirical information presented can be used as indicators of areas of weakness or strength in a country's stock of road infrastructure.

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    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1999/04/28/000009265_3961004011323/Rendered/PDF/multi_page.pdf
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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 921.

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    Date of creation: 30 Jun 1992
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:921
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    1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    2. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "Cross-country studies of growth and policy : methodological, conceptual, and statistical problems," Policy Research Working Paper Series 608, The World Bank.
    3. Shah, Anwar, 1992. "Dynamics of Public Infrastructure, Industrial Productivity and Profitability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 28-36, February.
    4. Antle, John M, 1983. "Infrastructure and Aggregate Agricultural Productivity: International Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 609-19, April.
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