Summary of Infrastructure’s Multiplier Effect on Well-Being

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The Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA) uses rankings and statistics to measure how well 152 countries around the world are meeting their citizens’ needs. How can low-ranking nations raise their scores? This report from the Boston Consulting Group suggests that, for many countries, the answer to rapid progress and increased well-being lies in infrastructure investment – including roads and other transportation systems. India and Indonesia both offer compelling examples of how infrastructure can facilitate improvements in national welfare.

About the Authors

Saurabh Bakliwal works in New Delhi and Joao Hrotkó is located in Lagos. Both are managing directors and partners for the Boston Consulting Group. Jailendra Kashyap is a project leader in New Delhi and Ruth Chiah is a lead knowledge analyst in Singapore.

 

Summary

Countries that invest in infrastructure see improved well-being rankings in the Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA).

Countries that scored low in terms of their citizens’ well-being in 2009’s SEDA saw more rapid progress and were able to convert wealth into greater well-being for their citizens (as measured by 2018’s SEDA) if they prioritized infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure gives citizens increased ability to travel, spurs greater productivity and increases trade and other economic activity.

Indonesia and India have experienced major improvements in recent years despite formidable obstacles. Indonesia ranked 102 on infrastructure in 2008, but rose in the rankings to 69 in 2018. India climbed from 104 to 96. Progress in both countries came mostly due to efforts to improve transportation routes, but the following approaches are just as relevant to improvements...


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