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Discussion Paper

Infrastructure Costs

Published: December 2021
train station
Adobe Stock / photobee
Researchers sought to understand the impact of dollars spent on infrastructure across time and place by examining the U.S. interstate highway system.

Examining one of the nation's most valuable infrastructure assets, the interstate highway system, researchers find that real spending per mile on Interstate construction increased more than three-fold from the 1960s to the 1980s. They furthermore find that increases in income and housing prices are major determinants in this cost increase.

Abstract and Citation

Brooks, Leah and Liscow, Zachary D., Infrastructure Costs (December 1, 2021). American Economic Journal: Applied (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: or