The Role of Infrastructure in Poverty Alleviation: Comparing U.S. and Chinese Infrastructure Development

Principal Investigator

Francis Fukuyama
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies


Raymond Levitt
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Research Locations China
Award Date July 2017
Award Type Faculty GDP Exploratory Project Award


Public infrastructure — roads, bridges, airports, electrical grids, water and sanitation systems, etc. — is fundamental to economic development and poverty alleviation. Beyond its effects on development, promotion of infrastructure has become an important component of the “soft power” projected by China and the US, respectively, and hence has implications for foreign policy. We seek funding to produce seven new case studies comparing Chinese and US-funded infrastructure projects in the developing world. Our research should help understand the roadblocks to a more effective US role in infrastructure investment in emerging economies and will add to the substantial library of case studies ( and other materials that LAD has developed over the eight years since its founding. This project will be directed by Senior Fellow Francis Fukuyama and Professor Raymond Levitt at Stanford University.