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Productivity and accessibility : bridging project specific and macroeconomic analyses of transportation investments
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  • Abstract:
    Many studies of the local economic impacts of individual highway projects rely on overly narrow measures of economic benefits. Another type of research, focusing on economic productivity, defines benefits more broadly but is also limited by geographic and functional aggregation constraints. This paper attempts to bridge these two perspectives, describing how project-specific analysis methods can shed light on the overall macroeconomic effects of transportation infrastructure spending. It first identifies - at a micro level - the different functional elements of economic development benefits and business productivity. It then critically assesses the state of current methods and data for both aggregate level analysis of capital investment benefits and local level analysis of specific highway project impacts. Results of recent research are then used to illustrate how the analysis of local impacts of specific highway projects can be more fully measured in a context consistent with overall productivity and other economic concepts.

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