PERI
Publications
How Infrastructure Investments Support the U.S. Economy
Abstract:

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.

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