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Failure to Act Economic Studies

  • Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America's Economic Future was released in 2013 as the culminating report on the economic impact of poor infrastructure in the U.S.

  • 2020 Failure to Act Economic Studies by Sector

    Water and Wastewater

    By investing in our water infrastructure to make it more reliable, we can prevent $250 billion in increased costs to businesses by 2039.


    An additional investment of $16.9 billion per year between now and 2039 in our electricity infrastructure can protect 540,000 jobs and $5,800 per household in personal income.

    Surface Transportation

    These preliminary findings show that if industry costs are passed onto customers, costs per household could be as high as $12,500 over 20 years, or $625 dollars per year.  Losses to households and industries will amount to $677 billion over the 2020 -2029 period and $1.5 trillion during the 2030-2039 decade.

  • ASCE’s Failure to Act economic studies show the impact on America’s economy if we continue only at current infrastructure investment levels. Looking at current trends in infrastructure conditions and investment levels, this report series shows the economic consequences of continued underinvestment in our nation’s infrastructure, and, conversely, if we increase investment levels to achieve a state of good repair, the gains that could be made by 2020 in terms of:

      • Personal disposable income
      • GDP and exports
      • Costs to businesses
      • Jobs
  • The culminating report was released on January 15, 2013 and presents an overall picture of the economic opportunity associated with infrastructure investment and the cost of failing to fill the investment gap.

    ASCE finds that with an additional investment of $157 billion a year between now and 2020, the U.S. can eliminate this drag on economic growth and protect:

    • $3.1 trillion in GDP, almost the equivalent of Germany’s entire GDP
    • $1.1 trillion in U.S. trade value, equivalent to Mexico’s GDP  
    • 3.5 million jobs, more than the jobs created in the U.S. over the previous 22 months
    • $2.4 trillion in consumer spending, comparable to Brazil’s GDP
    • $3,100 in annual personal disposable income

  • For More Information

    To find out more about ASCE’s infrastructure initiatives or request a speaker, email:

    Anna Denecke