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Identifying a fiscally responsible approach to funding infrastructure

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The U.S. has experienced a slowdown in productivity growth during the last decade, amounting to trillions of dollars in lost output. This decline in productivity—coupled with very low interest rates and declining public investment—presents a challenge and an opportunity for economic policy. In response, many policymakers and experts have proposed investments in public infrastructure; however, this raises a number of questions regarding not only which types of infrastructure projects are worth pursuing, but how to most effectively fund and finance them.

On February 7, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a policy forum exploring fiscally responsible policy options for funding and financing infrastructure investments. The forum will feature a panel discussion to explore the role of repatriation, tax credits, and deficit finance in infrastructure policy. Panelists included: Rosanne Altshuler, professor, Department of Economics, Rutgers University; Alan Auerbach, director of the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance, University of California, Berkeley; Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler memorial professor of economics and public affairs, Princeton University and visiting fellow in Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution; Jason Furman, senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; and Alan Viard, resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute. Peter Orszag, nonresident senior fellow in Economic Studies, Brookings, and vice chairman and managing director, Lazard Freres & Co LLC, moderated the discussion.

In conjunction with this event, The Hamilton Project released a new framing paper which provides an economic framework for evaluating and implementing infrastructure investment proposals.


8:00 AM Event Registration Opens

8:30 AM Welcome and Introductions

Robert E. Rubin
Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

8:35 AM Opening Remarks

The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer
Democratic Whip, U.S. House of Representatives

8:45 AM Presentation of Hamilton Project Research

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
Director, The Hamilton Project
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

9:00 AM Roundtable: The Role of Repatriation, Tax Credits, and Deficit Finance in Infrastructure Policy

Discussant: Rosanne Altshuler
Professor, Department of Economics, Rutgers University

Discussant: Alan Auerbach
Director of the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance
Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law, University of California, Berkeley

Discussant: Alan Blinder 
Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Visiting Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

Discussant: Jason Furman
Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Discussant: Alan Viard
Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Moderator: Peter Orszag  
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution
Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co LLC

10:00 AM Forum Adjourns

Event Forum

The Brookings Institution


Follow @hamiltonproj and see the conversation using #InfrastructureInvestment

Available Downloads

Presentation Slidespdf


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