Economic analysis of the Spanish port sector reform during the 1990s
In the matter of port legislation, the nineties was a period of maximum interest in Spain. Two laws enacted in 1992 and 1997, respectively, aimed at increasing the autonomy of individual ports in the management and organization of its activities. Before 1992 two different models of management coexisted in the Spanish port system: autonomous decision-making ports and ports controlled in its decision-making by the Central Government. The question we address in this paper is how these legislative changes have affected the evolution of the levels of traffic of the Spanish port system from 1992, date of introduction of the first law, to 2003, date of approval of a third legislative change that remains out of this analysis for lack of sufficient data. We find an important impact of legislative changes on port traffic by way of an estimated econometric model over the 1966-2003 period. We control for the effect of other variables that might have influenced Spanish maritime traffic such as international maritime flows, taken as a proxy of globalization, or gross domestic product, under the hypothesis that maritime transport is a demand derived of economic activity. We provide evidence supporting that greater port autonomy had beneficial effects for the Spanish port system as a whole.
Volume (Year): 42 (2008)
Issue (Month): 8 (October)
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