Mercatus Infrastructure Resources

For several years, policymakers have called for greater investments in infrastructure, while the definition of “infrastructure” has expanded beyond traditional surface transportation. As our cities and rural areas face different challenges, policymakers also must grapple with how to finance new and existing projects to meet the needs of their constituents.

Research scholars of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University have been informing policymakers, at both the federal and state levels, on issues surrounding infrastructure and solutions to improve our existing systems. The body of work below highlights our scholar-focused interest on infrastructure and the role of the Federal government. This research discusses the need for financing and funding solutions, changes to the current allocation of federal spending, and the role technology plays in determining how American infrastructure is maintained and built.




General Infrastructure

Infrastructure: How to Define It and Why the Definition Matters

Tracy C. Miller

Benefits and Risks of Policymakers Use of Smart City Technology

Emily Hamilton

The Limits of Infrastructure Stimulus

Garett Jones, Daniel Rothschild

Biden’s Environmentally Friendly Infrastructure Plan Won’t Help Infrastructure of the Environment

Veronique de Rugy



Infrastructure Financing

Political Incentives and Transportation Funding

Robert Krol

Fixing American Infrastructure

Veronique de Rugy

Infrastructure Finance: A Mercatus Colloquium

Eileen Norcross



Surface Transportation

Improving Funding and Management of Surface Transportation Infrastructure

Veronique de Rugy, Tracy Miller

Smart Cities, Dumb Infrastructure

Brent Skorup, Korok Ray

Can a Federal Public Infrastructure Bank Improve Highway Funding

Robert Krol

America’s Infrastructure Isn’t Crumbling

Robert Krol

Federal Highway Funding Needs to Change

Robert Krol

Role of the Private Sector in the Management of Highways, A Primer on Public Private Partnerships 

Tracy Miller

Highway Infrastructure, Issues Concerning Private-Sector Participation

Robert Krol



Rail Transportation

Infrastructure Policy: Four Lessons from Freight Rail deregulation>

Jerry Ellig

High-Speed Railways: Do They Produce Economic Growth?

Kenneth Button

Mandating Minimum Crew Size for Freight Trains is Still A Bad Idea

Patrick McLaughlin



Air Transportation

Which States Are Prepared for the Drone Industry

Brent Skorup

Auctioning Airspace

Brent Skorup



Public Transportation

How Private Sector Can Improve Public Transportation

Clifford Winston

Trains in Vain: The Uncertain Outlook for Public Transit After COVID-19

Robert Krol




The Link Between Local Zoning Policy and Housing Affordability in America’s Cities

Kevin Erdmann, Salim Furth, Emily Hamilton

The Premium For Walkable Development Under Land Use Regulations

Emily Hamilton, Eli Dourado

How Land-Use Regulations Undermines Affordable Housing

Emily Hamilton, Sanford Ikeda

Inclusionary Zoning Hurts More Than It Helps

Emily Hamilton

Opportunities for Better Federal Housing Policy: How the Biden Administration and Congress Can Improve Housing Affordability

Emily Hamilton

Inclusionary Zoning and Housing Market Outcomes

Emily Hamilton




5G Basics and Public Policy

Brent Skorup

Narrowing the Rural Digital Divide with Consumer Vouchers

Brent Skorup, Michael Kotrous

Community Resilience Through Mesh Networking

Anne Hobson

The FCC Should Impose a Cap on the Universal Service Fund

Brent Skorup

Broadband Deployment Recommendations for the United States

Brent Skorup

Who Cares about Utility Poles? Broadband Users Should

Brent Skorup