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Urban public transport in Europe: Technology diffusion and market organisation

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  • Costa, Álvaro
  • Fernandes, Ruben
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    Abstract

    Technological change and incremental technology, at various levels, are believed to have played an important role in the success of urban public transport in Europe. In this paper, a historical overview of the evolution of different transport modes across different European cities is presented. Our major concern is with the processes of diffusion of urban transport modes in European cities and, in particular, with the factors, mainly of an economic nature, that may explain their rates of adoption across Europe. Among these factors, special attention is given to the role played by the dimension and organisation of public transport markets in the rates of adoption of different public transport modes. The main conclusion of the paper is that the success of the introduction of a new transport mode appeared to be mainly related to its ability to provide cheaper and more reliable transport services compared with previous transport modes, and that, in the case of the electric tram, this was achieved by transforming of the structure of the market relating to this urban transport mode into monopolies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 269-284

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:46:y:2012:i:2:p:269-284

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    Related research

    Keywords: Urban public transport; Technological change;

    References

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    1. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Khan, Beethika, 2003. "Adoption of New Technology," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3wg4p528, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Stoneman, Paul & Diederen, Paul, 1994. "Technology Diffusion and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 918-30, July.
    3. Henry Johns Gibbons, 1901. "The Opposition to Municipal Socialism in England," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9, pages 243.
    4. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Innovation and Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 10212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1972. "Factors affecting the diffusion of technology," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 3-33.
    6. Christoph H. Loch & Bernardo A. Huberman, 1999. "A Punctuated-Equilibrium Model of Technology Diffusion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(2), pages 160-177, February.
    7. Sarkar, Jayati, 1998. " Technological Diffusion: Alternative Theories and Historical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 131-76, April.
    8. John E. Ettlie & David B. Vellenga, 1979. "The Adoption Time Period for Some Transportation Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(5), pages 429-443, May.
    9. Wright, Gavin, 1997. "Towards a More Historical Approach to Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1560-66, September.
    10. Andersen, Birgitte, 1998. "The evolution of technological trajectories 1890-1990," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 5-34, March.
    11. Mansfield, Edwin, 1983. "Technological Change and Market Structure: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 205-09, May.
    12. Richard R Nelson & Alexander Peterhansl & Bhaven Sampat, 2004. "Why and how innovations get adopted: a tale of four models," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 679-699, October.
    13. Silverberg, Gerald & Dosi, Giovanni & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1988. "Innovation, Diversity and Diffusion: A Self-organisation Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1032-54, December.
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