Technical Report

Evidence Review: Infrastructure



Docherty I & Waite D (2018) Evidence Review: Infrastructure. Productivity Insights Network. PIN - 03. London: Economic and Social Research Council.

First paragraph: The overall aim of this thematic review is to identify the current state-of-the-art of our knowledge of the relationship between infrastructure and productivity. The paper focuses on two particular forms of infrastructure, namely transport and digital/broadband. This is because other basic infrastructures, such as water, drainage and electricity, are effectively ‘binary’ in their supply – i.e. individuals and firms are either connected to these networks or they’re not, and the services supplied via these infrastructures either function or they don’t – whereas the *level* of service provided by transport and digital connectivity varies. The impacts of transport infrastructure investment is also a key concern of the authors’ own research work. The paper is structured as follows: first, it reviews the longstanding debate about the links between transport infrastructure and the economy, and the recent debates about the impacts on economic agglomeration, which are seen as key to productivity enhancement. It then goes on to examine the more limited research base on digital connectivity. Finally, the issue of the level of productivity within the infrastructure sector is addressed. The paper draws on a recent review carried out by the authors for the Scottish Cities Alliance (SCA) on the relationship between transport infrastructure and the economic aspirations of City Deals, and we are grateful for the assistance of colleagues in the city authorities in developing the analysis developed here. The section on digital connectivity draws on another earlier SCA review paper produced by our colleague Prof Donald Houston, now of the University of Portsmouth.

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Number in seriesPIN - 03
Publication date31/12/2018
Publisher URL…astructure-1.pdf
Place of publicationLondon

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Professor Iain Docherty

Professor Iain Docherty

Dean of Institute for Advanced Studies