Assessing the ex ante economic impacts of transportation infrastructure policies in Brazil
This paper uses a fully operational inter-regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model implemented for the Brazilian economy, based on previous work by Haddad and Hewings, in order to assess the likely economic effects of road transportation policy changes in Brazil. Among the features embedded in this framework, modelling of external scale economies and transportation costs provides an innovative way of dealing explicitly with theoretical issues related to integrated regional systems. The model is calibrated for 109 regions. The explicit modelling of transportation costs built into the inter-regional CGE model, based on origin-destination flows, which takes into account the spatial structure of the Brazilian economy, creates the capability of integrating the inter-regional CGE model with a geo-coded transportation network model enhancing the potential of the framework in understanding the role of infrastructure on regional development. The transportation model used is the so-called Highway Development and Management, developed by the World Bank, implemented using the software TransCAD. Further extensions of the current model specification for integrating other features of transport planning in a continental industrialising country like Brazil are discussed, with the goal of building a bridge between conventional transport planning practices and the innovative use of CGE models. In order to illustrate the analytical power of the integrated system, the authors present a set of simulations, which evaluate the ex ante economic impacts of physical/qualitative changes in the Brazilian road network (for example, a highway improvement), in accordance with recent policy developments in Brazil. Rather than providing a critical evaluation of this debate, they intend to emphasise the likely structural impacts of such policies. They expect that the results will reinforce the need to better specifying spatial interactions in inter-regional CGE models.
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Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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