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On measuring the benefits of lower transport costs

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G.
  • Minten, Bart

Abstract

Despite large amounts invested in rural roads in developing countries, little is known about their benefits. This paper derives an expression for the willingness-to-pay for a reduction in transport costs from the canonical agricultural household model and uses it to estimate the benefits of a hypothetical road project. Estimation is based on novel cross-sectional data collected in a small region of Madagascar with enormous, yet plausibly exogenous, variation in transport cost. A road that essentially eliminated transport costs in the study area would boost the incomes of the remotest households-those facing transport costs of about USD 75/ton-by nearly half, mostly by raising non-farm earnings. This benefit estimate is contrasted to one based on a hedonic approach.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4484.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4484

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Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Rural Roads&Transport; Economic Theory&Research; Rural Transport;

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  1. Jacoby, Hanan G., 1998. "Access to markets and the benefits of rural roads," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2028, The World Bank.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2005. "Cities and Specialisation: Evidence from South Asia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 477-504, 04.
  3. Shahidur R. Khandker & Zaid Bakht & Gayatri B. Koolwal, 2009. "The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 685-722, 07.
  4. Mu, Ren & van de Walle, Dominique, 2007. "Rural roads and poor area development in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4340, The World Bank.
  5. Timothy J. Bartik & V. Kerry Smith, 1996. "Urban Amenities and Public Policy," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: V. Kerry Smith (ed.), Estimating Economic Values for Nature: Methods for Non-Market Valuation, pages 271-318 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  6. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Hill, 2004. "Selling at the Farm-Gate or Travelling to Market," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-30, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1986. "The short-run and long-run benefits of environmental improvement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 61-81, June.
  8. Richard J. Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1980. "Aggregate Land Rents and Aggregate Transport Costs," NBER Working Papers 0523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gibson, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2003. "Poverty and Access to Roads in Papua New Guinea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 159-85, October.
  10. Jerry Lebo & Dieter Schelling, 2001. "Design and Appraisal of Rural Transport Infrastructure : Ensuring Basic Access for Rural Communities," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13911.
  11. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2000. "The Spatial Division of Labor in Nepal," Economics Series Working Papers 44, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Mitchell Polinsky, A. & Shavell, Steven, 1976. "Amenities and property values in a model of an urban area," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 119-129.
  13. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-76, September.
  14. Gersovitz, Mark, 1989. "Transportation, State Marketing, and the Taxation of the Agricultural Hinterland," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1113-37, October.
  15. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
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