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Infrastructure, competition regimes, and air transport costs: cross-country evidence

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  • Micco, Alejandro
  • Serebrisky, Tomas

Abstract

The relevance of transport costs has increased as liberalization continues to reduce artificial barriers to trade. Countries need to adopt policies to get closer to global markets. Can improvements in infrastructure and regulation reduce transport costs? Is it worthwhile to implement policies designed to increase competition in transport markets? Focusing on air transport, which has increased its share in US imports from 24 percent in 1990 to 35 percent in 2000, this paper quantifies the effects of infrastructure, regulatory quality and liberalization of air cargo markets on transport costs. During the 1990s, the United States implemented a series of Open Skies Agreements, providing a unique opportunity to assess the effect that a change in the competition regime has on prices. We find that infrastructure, quality of regulation and competition matter. In our sample, an improvement in airport infrastructure from the 25th to 75th percentiles reduces air transport costs by 15 percent. A similar improvement in the quality of regulation reduces air transport costs by 14 percent. Open Skies Agreements further reduce air transport costs by 8 percent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3355.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3355

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Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Transport and Trade Logistics; Economic Theory&Research; Decentralization; Common Carriers Industry; Airports and Air Services; Common Carriers Industry; Transport and Trade Logistics; Economic Theory&Research; Transport Economics Policy&Planning;

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  1. Henry Overman & Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Economic Geography of Trade, Production, and Income: A Survey of Empirics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0508, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2003. "Geography and Export Performance: External Market Access and Internal Supply Capacity," NBER Working Papers 9637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alejandro Micco & Ernesto H. Stein & Guillermo Luis Ordoñez, 2003. "The Currency Union Effect on Trade: Early Evidence from EMU," Research Department Publications 4339, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
  5. Carsten Fink & Aaditya Mattoo & Ileana Cristina Neagu, 2002. "Trade in International Maritime Services: How Much Does Policy Matter?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(1), pages 81-108, June.
  6. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517 Elsevier.
  7. Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro & Clark, Ximena, 2002. "Maritime transport costs and port efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2781, The World Bank.
  8. Robert C. Feenstra, 1996. "U.S. Imports, 1972-1994: Data and Concordances," NBER Working Papers 5515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Luisa Alamá-Sabater & Laura Márquez-Ramos & Celestino Suárez-Burguet & J. Miguel Navarro-Azorín, 2012. "Interregional Trade and Transport Connectivity. An Analysis of Spatial Dependence," Working Papers 2012/20, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  2. Laura Márquez-Ramos & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Eva Pérez-García & Gordon Wilmsmeier, 2011. "“Special Issue on Latin-American Research” Maritime Networks, Services Structure and Maritime Trade," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 555-576, September.
  3. Benjamin Bridgman, 2008. "Energy Prices and the Expansion of World Trade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 904-916, October.
  4. Rocco Huang, 2005. "Distance and Trade: Disentangling unfamiliarity effects and transport cost effects," International Trade 0511010, EconWPA.
  5. Gries, Thomas & Naude, Wim & Matthee, Marianne, 2008. "The Optimal Distance to Port for Exporting Firms," Working Paper Series RP2008/32, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Christophe Gouel & Nina Kousnetzoff & Hassan Salman, 2008. "Commerce international et transports : tendances du passe et prospective 2020," Working Papers 2008-28, CEPII research center.
  7. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Gordon Wilmsmeier, 2008. "Determinants of Maritime Transport Costs. A Panel Data Analysis for Latin American Trade," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 172, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Luisa Alamá Sabater & Laura Marquez Ramos & Celestino Suarez Burguet, 2011. "Regional Trade and Logistics Infrastructure: A Spatial Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1737, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Geloso Grosso, Massimo & Shepherd, Ben, 2011. "Air cargo transport in APEC: Regulation and effects on merchandise trade," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 203-212, June.
  10. Bianka Dettmer & Andreas Freytag & Peter Draper, 2013. "Check-in, departure and arrival times: Air cargo in Southern Africa?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-018, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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