The study by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) called for the project to be scrapped, saying it "defies economic logic".
The IEA says the cost of the scheme has been vastly underestimated, and argues that the £80bn price tag could deliver £320bn of value if spent on road and other rail and transport projects.
HS2 has been launched to provide a 250mph rail link between London and Birmingham from 2026, with two further lines to Leeds and Manchester by 2032.
But the IEA suggested that ministers were pushing the scheme through to "buy votes" in northern areas.
Dr Richard Wellings, the report's author, said it was "time the Government abandoned its plans".