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A New Look at the Incidence of Public Transport Subsidies: A Case Study of Santiago, Chile

  • Andrés Gómez-Lobo

Most public transport subsidies in developing countries are justified on equity or social grounds. However, it is not clear how well current subsidies meet these objectives. In this paper the author evaluates several public transport subsidies in the case of Santiago, Chile. This is an interesting case study because in recent years direct means-tested monetary transfers have been used to distribute public transport subsidies instead of using more traditional supply side sectoral subsidies. The results show that using the general welfare system to distribute transport subsidies performs much better than traditional supply side subsidies. The latter are very badly targeted and in some cases quite regressive. Together with some recent evidence from other developing country cities, the results of this paper imply that more effort needs to be placed on the analysis, design, and implementation of social subsidies in the transport sector. ? 2009 LSE and the University of Bath

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Article provided by London School of Economics and University of Bath in its journal Journal of Transport Economics and Policy (JTEP).

Volume (Year): 43 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 405-425

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Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:43:y:2009:i:3:p:405-425
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.bath.ac.uk/e-journals/jtep

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  1. Kristin Komives & Vivien Foster & Jonathan Halpern & Quentin Wodon, 2005. "Water, Electricity, and the Poor : Who Benefits from Utility Subsidies?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6361.
  2. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Alexander Galetovic & Claudio E. Raddatz, 1998. "Taxes and Income Distribution in Chile: Some Unpleasant Redistributive Arithmetic," NBER Working Papers 6828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cropper, Maureen & Bhattacharya, Soma, 2007. "Public transport subsidies and affordability in Mumbai, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4395, The World Bank.
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