Dennis Coates, Economics, in City Paper

Baltimore’s City Paper published an article on November 25 that examined the city’s current public construction boom, which by some estimates may exceed $10 billion, comparable to what was spent nationally by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.

Dennis Coates

Economics Professor Dennis Coates was interviewed for the article and explained that the public projects would likely increase the local economic growth rate by close to 15 percent.

“It is certainly a construction jobs program, and I would contend it will affect growth positively, though precisely how much, especially in the short term, is questionable,” he said. “Avoiding broken water mains and the problems those cause is enormously beneficial, even if there is negligible impact on growth. The mayor’s office is not publicizing this, so in that sense it is invisible, but when water-main work is under way, that will be very visible.”

To read the full article titled “Baltimore’s New Deal: WPA-level spending has the power to remake the city, but much of it might be going away,” click here.