Public infrastructure: Pork or jobs creator?

Douglas R. Dalenberg, Mark D. Partridge, Dan S. Rickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Past studies of the impact of public capital on state economic well-being have often focused on estimates of production functions, yet such an approach overlooks some important economic relationships. This article presents estimates designed to carefully measure the impact of public capital on state employment by using a model that incorporates infrastructure impacts from several different sources. Controlling for differences in states' industrial structure, demand conditions, production costs, demographics, and noninfrastructure amenities and state fixed effects, the authors find that infrastructure is a significant variable in determining state employment. Moreover, surrounding state highway public capital apparently has positive spillover impacts. Finally, a simulation is conducted to examine whether a government policy of raising taxes to fund an increase in public infrastructure increases employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-52
Number of pages29
JournalPublic Finance Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


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