Background Note | HBS Case Collection | February 2014 (Revised May 2014)

Finding the Money: An Overview of Infrastructure Finance Challenges and Opportunities

by Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Daniel Fox

Abstract

This overview describes how the United States funds and finances infrastructure investment to maintain its economic competitiveness. It considers the roles of taxpayers, users, government allocators and lenders, and private investors in the infrastructure funding system and shows that there are creative tools that can be used. It focuses on five major areas: the problematic state of fuel taxes; the increasing promise of user fees; innovations in debt financing; the challenges of privatization; and the promise (and challenges) of public-private partnerships, with particular attention to a model project in Miami, the Port Tunnel. The overview concludes with a call for cross-sector coalitions to develop strategies with long-term impact goals and short-term visible improvements for users.

Keywords: finance; infrastructure; technology; United States;

Citation:

Kanter, Rosabeth Moss, and Daniel Fox. "Finding the Money: An Overview of Infrastructure Finance Challenges and Opportunities." Harvard Business School Background Note 314-094, February 2014. (Revised May 2014.)