With a timeframe resembling that of a construction project, the U.S. Congress is working on an infrastructure bill. How effective could the legislation be? In a new paper, James M. Poterba, the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT, and co-author Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard University, survey economic aspects of infrastructure investment in the U.S. They advocate for cost-benefit analyses of projects, find that repairing infrastructure often pays off more than new projects, and suggest that infrastructure user fees be considered as a source of financing for projects.
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