Roads to Prosperity

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Mar 14, 2010    •    683 Views

In Part 1 of the Teaching Company course, “America and the New Global Economy,” Professor Timothy Taylor discusses the origination of the euro. Four goals he says were sought: free movement of people, goods, services, and capital.  Central especially to people and goods moving from country to country was not only a common currency but also roads.
So, I returned to the Google World Bank statistics site to check out the proportion of European roads that were paved.  Starting with the world, I discovered that the overall average in 2000 was 36.3 percent.  Then, I added the original 12 eurozone countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Neatherlands, Portugal, and Spain.  Seven nations were at 99 percent or higher!  Only one was close to 60 percent.  Which ones?  I suggest you go there to look.


The Economic Lesson
A transportation infrastructure is crucial for economic growth.  In the United States, we started with roads, soon had a canal infrastructure, and then saw a railroad network develop. A eurozone goal, free movement across varied economic regions, was achieved in the United States long before the end of the 19th century.









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