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The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity and Revitalize America

by Robert D. Atkinson, Daniel Castro and Stephen J. Ezell
January 2009

Spurring investment in our nation’s infrastructure is an effective strategy for getting Americans back to work during an economic downturn, particularly one that is expected to be longer than normal in duration. Although projects to improve the country’s traditional physical infrastructure (e.g., roads, bridges, sewer systems) are necessary and important, investments in certain parts of our national information technology (IT) infrastructure—America’s digital infrastructure—will have a greater positive impact on jobs, productivity, and innovation. And economic stimulus measures that go to consumption, as opposed to investment, will have a less beneficial impact on productivity and innovation than infrastructure investments.

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