Transport and Economic Development

European Conference of Ministers of Transport

The linkage between transport and economic development is a highly contentious issue which has generated considerable debate and an abundant literature. There is a firmly-held belief among politicians that investment in transport infrastructure promotes economic development and, by extension, employment. However, this belief is not borne out by scientific analysis, which would seem to indicate that the impact of this type of investment on employment and economic development remains limited, at least in developed countries, and at the purely regional level can even prove negative.

The Round Table set out to clarify this issue by analysing the arguments for and against the presumed linkage between "transport infrastructure" and "economic development". This provided a basis on which it could draw conclusions regarding the evaluation methods of investment commonly used. The debate ended with a review of the basic policy issue of whether or not a link existed between transport and economic growth.


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