The effects of investments in infrastructure on local and regional economic development have long been the subject of scientific debate. An issue in this debate is whether the construction of new infrastructure between core and peripheral regions induces economic benefits in these regions or not. Most of the studies that assess these benefits are ex-ante forecasts, whereas far less ex-post studies are known.In this paper we contribute to this debate by analysing the ex-ante and ex-post effects of the Westerscheldertunnel in the Netherlands which opened in 2003. This analysis was possible because various ex-ante studies about the effects of the tunnel were made before it was opened. Also, after the opening some surveys were held (including one by the authors). The analysis shows that changes subsequent to the opening of the Westerscheldetunnel are relatively small. This is in line with existing literature on similar cases. However, the ex-ante studies did forecast larger effects, particularly an increase in employment. Also, the effects that businesses expected were different from what they experienced. Their expectations were either too pessimistic or too positive.
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