Coen Teulings, Ioulia Ossokina, 23 April 2018

Concerns are often raised about increasing spatial segregation by education level in societies. This column uses a study in the Netherlands to show that as preferences for locally provided public goods with a high fixed cost, such as train stations, differ widely between educational groups, spatial sorting by education and an increase in local density can actually raise the social benefits from investments in such infrastructure. However, since the highly educated benefit disproportionally, this leads to serious political economy problems.

Riccardo Crescenzi, Marco Di Cataldo, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 11 April 2017

Transport infrastructure investment is a cornerstone of growth-promoting strategies around the world. However, investment in new infrastructure is not always conducive to stronger economic performance. This column argues that the lack of positive economic returns may be due to institutional failures mitigating the growth effects of public capital expenditures. In contexts marked by weak and inefficient governments and widespread corruption, different types of road investments yield low or no economic returns.

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