IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Indirect benefits of infrastructure improvement in the case of an imperfect labor market

  • Zhu, Xueqin
  • Van Ommeren, Jos
  • Rietveld, Piet

We perform a welfare analysis of transport infrastructure improvements in the presence of an imperfect labor market, allowing for endogenous wages and involuntary unemployment. Efficiency wage setting is incorporated in a spatial two-region general equilibrium model, written as a welfare program. In our model, firms set wages above the market clearing level to create an inducement for employees not to shirk. The economy-wide effect (i.e. social welfare or total welfare) consists of the direct effect in transport market and the indirect effect in other markets. We conduct welfare analyses different from the conventional cost-benefit analysis, in which we distinguish between the direct welfare effect based on consumer surplus in the transport market and the indirect welfare effect through changes in regional unemployment, which is captured in the economy-wide effect. In our model, infrastructure improvement may increase unemployment in one region, but overall unemployment levels fall. The indirect welfare effects through decreases in overall unemployment are about 10-20% of the direct welfare effects for most plausible labor market parameters. The indirect welfare effects are larger, the poorer the initial transport infrastructure and the larger the labor market imperfections.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part B: Methodological.

Volume (Year): 43 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 57-72

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:43:y:2009:i:1:p:57-72
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Postal:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Relative Wages, Efficiency Wages, and Keynesian Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "The Efficiency Wage Hypothesis, Surplus Labour, and the Distribution of Income in L.D.C.s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 185-207, July.
  3. Anthony J. Venables, 2007. "Evaluating Urban Transport Improvements: Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Presence of Agglomeration and Income Taxation," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 41(2), pages 173-188, May.
  4. Jones, Rich & Whalley, John, 1989. "A Canadian regional general equilibrium model and some applications," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 368-404, May.
  5. Bröcker, Johannes & Schneider, Martin, 1999. "How does economic development in eastern Europe affect Austria's regions? A multiregional general equilibrium framework," Discussion Papers 1/99, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Sciences "Friedrich List", Institute for Transport and Economics.
  6. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  8. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Graafland, Johan J. & de Mooij, Ruud A., 2000. "Tax reform and the Dutch labor market: an applied general equilibrium approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 193-214, October.
  9. Victor Ginsburgh & Michiel Keyzer, 2002. "The structure of applied general equilibrium models," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/3313, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-34, December.
  11. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  12. Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Urban Unemployment, Agglomeration and Transportation Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2309, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Goerke, Laszlo, 2000. "On the structure of unemployment benefits in shirking models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-295, May.
  14. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  15. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  16. Pilegaard, Ninette & Fosgerau, Mogens, 2008. "Cost benefit-analysis of a transport improvement in the case of search unemployment," MPRA Paper 10037, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Calvo, Guillermo, 1979. "Quasi-Walrasian Theories of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 102-07, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:43:y:2009:i:1:p:57-72. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.