Future direction for infrastructure research

Michael Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Contemporary infrastructure research has its origins in the late 1980s as attempts were made to measure the economic impact of public expenditures with early mixed results. In the 1990s, infrastructure assumed greater importance as a policy solution to improve economic performance in low-income economies particularly by multilateral development and official development agencies. This interest led to greater research interest with the examination of infrastructure and economic development, foreign direct investment, the role of institutions and capital markets, procurement, regional economic effects and more recently, the productivity of public investment in specific regions and industries. This article identifies subjects that warrant further research in the future particularly the shortfall in current investment levels and how this will be met. This is a challenge for both low and high-income countries with fiscal and public debt constraints requiring governments to tap alternative sources of finance. Policy options available to government include wider use of bond markets and private participation in infrastructure provision and management. Other problems facing government include optimism bias and forecasting error that is a particular problem for projects in the transport sector. Many other research opportunities remain to be explored and this article is designed to provide an overview of several of the subjects that would benefit from further research at the present time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-279
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infrastructure, Policy and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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