Linkages between transport infrastructure and economic growth

This paper highlighted what is understood (and what is not understood) about the relationship between transport infrastructure, and the services it provides, and economic growth in developed economies. In concluding that transport investment on its own will not guarantee economic growth, the paper examines such things as:

  • The underlying conditions that, in conjunction with transport investment, could facilitate economic growth
  • Impact on regional versus national economic growth
  • The differential impacts on industry of transport infrastructure investment
  • The potential for transport infrastructure investment as a transforming economic activity
  • The possible role of political influences on infrastructure provision.

The implications of this relationship for transport infrastructure management in New Zealand are briefly examined. The paper provides a reasonably “high level” view of the subject, and does not attempt to fully explain the theoretical underpinnings of the debate.

This paper does not attempt to address the issue of “decoupling” economic growth and growth in transport consumption. Rather, the focus is on transport as an input factor in economic production.


O’Fallon, C. (2004) Linkages between transport infrastructure and economic growth. Paper (pdf)

O’Fallon, C. (2003) Linkages between infrastructure and economic growth. Paper (pdf)