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Estimating the Impact of Highways on Average Travel Velocities and Market Size

  • Michael L. Lahr

    (Rutgers University, Center for Urban Policy Research)

  • Rodrigo Duran

    (Rutgers University, Center for Urban Policy Research)

  • Anupa Varughese

    (Rutgers University, Center for Urban Policy Research)

In this paper we examine the link between additions to highway infrastructure and development of a market area. We do so by first relating highway travel speeds to added highway-mileage and then relating travel speed to the size of the market area. This approach bypasses issues in the public finance literature that derive from estimates of highway infrastructure spending. Also, rather than examining the effects of improved transportation efficiency on enhancements of productivity, this research examines their effect on enhancements in demand for local production. Our thought, which is borne out in the literature, is that industry-level productivity in a metropolitan area may be improved only marginally by lower delivered prices of inputs due to very localized improvements in the freight transportation system. On the other hand, the market for locally produced goods and services will expand somewhat uniformly across industries due to generally improved traffic movements in a metropolitan area. By applying this approach to data from the Texas Transportation Institute, we find a significant but small positive effect of highways and arterials (as opposed to other roadways) on changes in metropolitan urbanized area and metropolitan population change. This suggests that demand for local production may well be enhanced by expansions of highway and principal arterials infrastructure.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/urb/papers/0403/0403009.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Urban/Regional with number 0403009.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 25 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:0403009
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 21
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Lynde, Catherine & Richmond, James, 1992. "The Role of Public Capital in Production," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 37-44, February.
  2. Boarnet, Marlon G., 1995. "Transportation Infrastructure, Economic Productivity, and Geographic Scale: Aggregate Growth versus Spatial Redistribution," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6sj276z4, University of California Transportation Center.
  3. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
  5. Kevin T. Duffy-Deno & Randall W. Eberts, 1989. "Public infrastructure and regional economic development: a simultaneous equations approach," Working Paper 8909, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  6. Evans, Paul & Karras, Georgios, 1994. "Are Government Activities Productive? Evidence from a Panel of U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 1-11, February.
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  9. M. Ishaq Nadiri & Theofanis P. Mamuneas, 1991. "The Effects of Public Infrastructure and R&D Capital on the Cost Structure and Performance of U.S. Manufacturing Industries," NBER Working Papers 3887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Amy Schwartz, 1995. "Spatial productivity spillovers from public infrastructure: Evidence from state highways," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 459-468, October.
  11. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1993. "State-specific estimates of state and local government capital," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 185-209, April.
  12. Boarnet, Marlon G. & Haughwout, Andrew F., 2000. "Do Highways Matter? Evidence and Policy Implications of Highways' Influence on Metropolitan Development," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5rn9w6bz, University of California Transportation Center.
  13. Alicia H. Munnell, 1992. "Policy Watch: Infrastructure Investment and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 189-198, Fall.
  14. Garcia-Mila, Teresa & McGuire, Therese J., 1992. "The contribution of publicly provided inputs to states' economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 229-241, June.
  15. Randall W. Eberts, 1986. "Estimating the contribution of urban public infrastructure to regional growth," Working Paper 8610, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  16. Garcia-Mila, Teresa & McGuire, Therese J & Porter, Robert H, 1996. "The Effect of Public Capital in State-Level Production Functions Reconsidered," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 177-80, February.
  17. Douglas R. Dalenberg & Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 1998. "Public Infrastructure: Pork or Jobs Creator?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 26(1), pages 24-52, January.
  18. Crihfield, John B. & Panggabean, Martin P. H., 1995. "Is public infrastructure productive? A metropolitan perspective using new capital stock estimates," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 607-630, October.
  19. Boarnet, Marlon G., 1995. "Highways and Economic Productivity: Interpreting Recent Evidence," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4g79984s, University of California Transportation Center.
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