OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

A bird-eye view of Costa Rica's transport infrastructure

Costa Rica's transport infrastructure sector has long suffered from insufficient and ineffective investment and maintenance spending, resulting in a congested and poor-quality transport network. Public spending has been below the OECD average and private sector participation is limited. The road network is extensive but of poor quality, railways are in disrepair and only slowly being reactivated after having been shut down in the 1990s, seaports quality and capacity are deficient. Internal transportation overly relies on private road vehicles as the public transport system, especially railways, is inadequate. As a result, the transport sector is the major source of greenhouse emissions. Major challenges hindering the sector performance are: excessive institutional fragmentation, which reduces transparency and accountability of public sector agencies, poor strategic planning, which results in haphazard infrastructure development and poor intermodal connections, aversion to private sector participation and absence of an infrastructure-project pipeline, which discourage private investment, poor project preparation and slow project execution due to no cost benefit analyses, unclear project selection criteria and insufficient stakeholder engagement. This working paper relates to the 2016 OECD Economic Survey of Costa Rica (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/economic-survey-costa-rica.htm).


Keywords: transport, PPPs, investment, infrastructure, economic development
JEL: L98: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Industry Studies: Utilities and Transportation: Government Policy; R28: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Household Analysis / Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Government Policy; H54: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock; R40: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Transportation Economics / Transportation Economics: General; O18: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure; L91: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Transportation: General; Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy
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