Rural Highway Expansion and Economic Development: Impacts on Private Earnings and Employment (working paper)


Highway figure
Michael Iacono and David Levinson (2012) Rural Highway Expansion and Economic Development: Impacts on Private Earnings and Employment. (Working paper)

With the interstate system substantially complete, the majority of new investment in highways is likely to take the form of selective capacity expansion projects in urban areas, along with incremental expansions and upgrades to expressway or freeway standards of existing intercity highway corridors. This paper focuses specifically on the latter type of project, rural highway expansions designed to connect smaller outstate cities and towns, and examines their effects on industry-level private earnings and local employment. We examine three case study projects in rural Minnesota and use panel data on local earnings and employment to estimate the impacts of the improvements. Our results indicate that none of the projects studied generated statistically significant increases in earnings or employment, a finding we attribute to the relatively small time savings associated with the projects and the maturity of the highway network. We suggest that for rural highway expansion projects, as with other types of transportation projects, user benefits should be a primary evaluation criterion rather than employment impacts.
David Levinson

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on August 8, 2012 10:38 AM.

Monte Carlo Simulation of Adaptive Stated Preference Survey with a case study: Effects of Aggregate Mode Shares on Individual Mode Choice (working paper) was the previous entry in this blog.

The self-driving car logs more miles on new wheels is the next entry in this blog.

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