A Better Way for the US to Invest in Infrastructure

By Santiago FerrerKaran MistryNorman AndersonJeff HillRich Davey, and Andrew Smith

The Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, expected to be released any day, has an opportunity to achieve several broad objectives that go far beyond the buildings, bridges, seaports, and roads that it would finance. Notably, the plan could potentially create millions of high-paying jobs, many in rural areas, and it could help jump-start several of the administration’s other policy objectives, such as striving for racial equity, improving health care, and acting boldly on climate change.

Biden campaigned on investing $2 trillion in infrastructure. The plan will only be as effective as the analytic rigor underlying all the tradeoffs and choices embedded in an initiative of this scope. What is the right balance between investing in the most-critical projects and job creation? Which projects will generate quick but temporary employment gains, and which will lead to lasting opportunities? What can the administration do to prevent the cost overruns that so often plague infrastructure projects? How can Biden’s team ensure that some of the new infrastructure projects take advantage of the Internet of Things, other digital technologies, and open standards to accelerate innovations, such as self-driving cars? Even if Congress scales back Biden’s ambitions, it will be better to have gone through this exercise.

The slideshow below highlights some of these key issues. They are explored more fully in a companion white paper.

To receive a copy of the white paper, please contact one of the authors below.

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