The Value of Rural and Urban Public Infrastructure

David Albouy, Heejin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors estimate the value of public infrastructure using a panel of rural and urban counties in the United States from 1970 to 2012. Regression estimates imply public infrastructure increases employment more in urban counties, while improving property values more in rural ones; positive effects on income are similar. Spatial equilibrium modeling suggests public capital has similar quality-of-life and productivity benefits in urban and rural areas but does more to reduce costs of providing housing in urban ones. While public investments in rural and urban counties appear to pass conventional cost–benefit tests, dollar-per-dollar they are more valuable in urban counties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalEconomic Development Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • H2
  • H4
  • H54
  • J3
  • R2
  • capitalization
  • cost–benefit analysis
  • employment
  • income
  • infrastructure
  • public goods
  • spatial equilibrium
  • valuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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