Infrastructure and regional development

Johannes Bröcker*, Dirk Dohse, Piet Rietveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter deals with the impact of infrastructure on regional output, productivity and welfare, focusing on transport infrastructure. After discussing definitions, measurement and impact of infrastructure in general terms, the empirical literature on the productivity effects of infrastructure is reviewed in detail. Important themes are the specification of services provided with infrastructure, spatial spillovers, and, in particular, the rapidly growing literature dealing with causality issues. The chapter then shifts the focus from the macro to the micro perspective and from gross domestic producy effects to welfare effects. Spatial computable equilibrium modelling is introduced as an advanced technique for assessing regional welfare as well as distributional effects of infrastructure. However, this technique is data demanding; reliable parameters are often lacking, and the underlying theory is typically not tested. Gravity analysis is presented as a simplified, though well micro-founded alternative. Final thoughts are devoted to the widely discussed issue of wider economic effects that traditional evaluation methods typically do not account for.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories
EditorsRoberta Capello, Peter Nijkamp
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages26
EditionRevised and Extended 2nd
ISBN (Electronic)9781788970020
ISBN (Print)9781788970013
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


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