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- December 1, 2016; Vol. 3, Number 12

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Built Not to Last: Oxford study warns low-quality Chinese infrastructure investments threaten economic growth

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More than half of the infrastructure investments in China have destroyed, not generated, economic value, according to a study published in The Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

The study is based on an analysis of 95 large Chinese road and rail transport projects and 806 transport projects built in rich democracies, the largest dataset of its kind.

“From our sample, the evidence suggests that for over half of the infrastructure investments in China made in the last three decades the costs are larger than the benefits they generate, which means the projects destroy economic value instead of generating it,” comments Dr. Atif Ansar, co-author of the study. “Unless China shifts to fewer and higher-quality infrastructure investments, the country is headed for an infrastructure-led national financial and economic crisis, which is likely to spread to the international economy.”

The study dispels the conventional wisdom that Chin

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