Transportation & Infrastructure


For states and regions, transportation systems and other publicly provided infrastructure, such as water distribution and treatment systems, are important factors in supporting and promoting economic growth. Highway projects are arguably the largest single tool available for state and local economic development initiatives.

The role of economic analysis is to estimate the expected returns of such projects, including the potential impact on job creation and on regional productivity and competitiveness. Upjohn Institute research considers the effect of public infrastructure on regional productivity and the efficacy of such initiatives on regional economic development.


  • How should the benefits to transportation and infrastructure investments be valued?
  • What are the most efficient and equitable ways to finance infrastructure investments?
  • What are the effects of public infrastructure investment on regional employment growth and productivity?
  • How should public infrastructure investment be used most effectively to support regional economic growth?

Selected Institute Research

Understanding the Contribution of Highway Investment to National Economic Growth: Comment on Mamuneas’s Study
Randall Eberts, Upjohn Institute
Report for the Federal Highway Administration, 2010

What Should EDA Fund? Developing a Model for Pre-Assessment of Economic Development Investments
Brad Watts, Upjohn Institute
George Erickcek, Upjohn Institute
Jacob Duritsky, TeamNEO
Kevin O’Brien, Cleveland State University
Claudette Robey, Cleveland State University
Jim Robey, TeamNEO
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-155, July 2009

“Introduction to the Special Issue: Transportation Investment and Economic Development”
Cletus Coughlin, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Randall Eberts, Upjohn Institute
Brian Sloboda, Fannie Mae
Annals of Regional Science 42(3): 501-503, 2008

“How Levels of Transportation Investment Affect Economic Health”
Randall Eberts, Upjohn Institute
In Information Requirements for Transportation Economic Analysis, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, pp. 38-40 (presentation), 97-113 (resource paper), 2000.

More Institute Research about Transportation & Infrastructure