When it comes to transportation analysis, there are two primary perspectives typically used in the corresponding studies. The first relies on overly narrow measures of economic benefits and the second focuses on economic productivity, defines benefits more broadly, and is limited by geographic and functional aggregation constraints. The objective of this study was to connect both perspectives and describe how project-specific analysis methods can shed light on the overall macroeconomic effects of transportation infrastructure spending. Current research on productivity is at a sufficiently aggregate level so as to miss potentially important location-specific aspects and congestion relief elements of needs for highway system development, which may affect future benefits from highway improvements.
Economic Development Research Group, REMI – Productivity and Accessibility: Bridging Project-Specific and Macroeconomic Analyses of Transportation Investments [full PDF]