IN 2004, Benjamin Olken visited a road-building project in rural Indonesia. There was just one small section missing – a bridge over a stream – but the money had run out because of embezzlement, and construction abandoned. “By the time I got there, you could see where the road had been cleared and built, but the grass had completely grown back,” he says. “The road had fallen into decay…”
This article was first published in New Scientist on 9 November 2011. To continue reading click here (paywall).