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The BCA of HSR Should the government invest in high speed rail infrastructure?

Listed author(s):
  • De Rus, Ginés

This paper deals with public investment in High Speed Rail (HSR) infrastructure and tries to understand the economic rationale for allocating public money to the construction of new HSR lines. The exam of data on costs and demand shows that the case for investing in HSR requires several conditions to be met: an ex ante high volume of traffic in the corridor where the new line is built, significant time savings, high average willingness to pay of potential users, the release of capacity in the conventional rail network and airports. On the contrary, net environmental benefits seem to be insignificant as to influence the social desirability of HSR investment. This paper discusses, within a cost-benefit analysis framework, under which conditions the expected benefits could justify the investment in HSR projects.

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File URL: http://documentos.fedea.net/pubs/dt/2011/dt-2011-12.pdf
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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2011-12.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2011-12
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  1. Campos, Javier & de Rus, Gines & Barron, Ignacio, 2007. "A review of HSR experiences around the world," MPRA Paper 12397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Zinovyeva, Natalia & Bagues, Manuel F., 2011. "Does Gender Matter for Academic Promotion? Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 5537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ginés DE RUS & M. Pilar SOCORRO, 2009. "Infrastructure investment and incentives with supranational funding," Departmental Working Papers 2009-18, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  4. Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Evaluating Urban Transport Improvements: Cost Benefit Analysis in the Presence of Agglomeration and Income Taxation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0651, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. David Gillen & David Levinson & Jean Michel Mathieu & Adib Kanafani, 1997. "The full cost of high-speed rail: an engineering approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 31(2), pages 189-215.
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  7. Diego Puga, 2002. "European regional policies in light of recent location theories," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(4), pages 373-406, October.
  8. Per Kageson, 2009. "Environmental Aspects of Inter-City Passenger Transport," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2009/28, OECD Publishing.
  9. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar, 2005. "White elephants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 197-210, February.
  10. Rothengatter, Werner, 2003. "How good is first best? Marginal cost and other pricing principles for user charging in transport," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 121-130, April.
  11. C.A. Nash, 1991. "The case for high speed rail," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 15(2), pages 337-354, May.
  12. Ginés de Rus & Gustavo Nombela, 2007. "Is Investment in High Speed Rail Socially Profitable?," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 41(1), pages 3-23, January.
  13. Kingsley E. Haynes, 1997. "Labor markets and regional transportation improvements: the case of high-speed trains An introduction and review," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 31(1), pages 57-76.
  14. Vicente Inglada & GinÊs de Rus, 1997. "Cost-benefit analysis of the high-speed train in Spain," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 31(2), pages 175-188.
  15. Nash, Chris, 2003. "Marginal cost and other pricing principles for user charging in transport: a comment," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 345-348, October.
  16. Vickerman, R W, 1995. "The Regional Impacts of Trans-European Networks," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 29(2), pages 237-254, May.
  17. Chris Nash & Tom Sansom, 2001. "Pricing European Transport Systems: Recent Developments and Evidence from Case Studies," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 35(3), pages 363-380, September.
  18. Roger Vickerman, 1997. "High-speed rail in Europe: experience and issues for future development," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 31(1), pages 21-38.
  19. K. E. Haynes & C. Karlsson & U. Blum, 1997. "Introduction to the special issue The regional and urban effects of high-speed trains," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-20.
  20. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
  21. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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