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Core-Periphery Patterns of Generalized Transport Costs: France, 1978-98

  • Combes, Pierre-Philippe
  • Lafourcade, Miren

This Paper develops a methodology to compute transport costs at low infra-country geographical levels. This simultaneously accounts for the real network infrastructure, a distance cost (fuel, repair, tolls), and a time opportunity cost (wages, insurance and general charges, vehicle use). When considering levels, geodesic distance, real distance, and real time are shown to be good substitutes to the measure we develop. By contrast, variations across time are poorly captured by these simpler transport cost measures. Besides, the large decrease in transport costs that occurred in France between 1978 and 1998 - namely 38:2% - is shown to be mainly due to technology improvements and deregulation. New transport infrastructures, which contribute only marginally to this decline, shape the spatial pattern of accessibility improvements, however.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3958.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3958
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