IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Transport Costs: Measures, Determinants and Regional Policy Implications for France


  • Miren Lafourcade

    (UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne, CERAS - Centre d'enseignement et de recherche en analyse socio-économique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech)

  • Pierre-Philippe Combes

    () (CERAS - Centre d'enseignement et de recherche en analyse socio-économique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)


We develop a methodology to accurately compute transport costs. Based on the real transport network, our measure encompasses the characteristics of infrastructure, vehicle and energy used, as well as labor, insurance, tax and general charges borne by transport carriers. Computed for the 341 French employment areas, road transport shipments and the period 1978-1998, this new measure is compared to alternative ones such as great circle distance, real distance, or real time. We conclude that these proxies do a very good job in capturing transport costs in cross-section analysis. However, important discrepancies limit the possibility of using them in time series analysis. Moreover, our measure allows us to identify the policies that most impact transport costs. We show that transport technology and market structure are responsible for most of the transport cost decrease. Infrastructure improvements only condition the spatial distribution of the gains. Finally, some implications for researchers and regional policy makers are derived.

Suggested Citation

  • Miren Lafourcade & Pierre-Philippe Combes, 2005. "Transport Costs: Measures, Determinants and Regional Policy Implications for France," Post-Print halshs-00754078, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00754078
    DOI: 10.1093/jnlecg/lbh062
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 1995. "Negative Externalities May Cause Delay in Negotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1321-1335, November.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659 Elsevier.
    3. Jehiel, Phillippe, 1997. "Bargaining between benevolent jurisdictions or when delegation induces inefficiencies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 61-74, July.
    4. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
    5. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
    6. Wildasin, David E., 1988. "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 229-240, March.
    7. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 1998. "Private government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 281-304, June.
    8. Pines, David, 1991. "Tiebout without politics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 469-489, November.
    9. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    10. J. Vernon Henderson & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 2001. "On Strategic Community Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 546-569, June.
    11. Ian King & R. Preston McAfee & Linda Welling, 1993. "Industrial Blackmail: Dynamic Tax Competition and Public Investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 590-608, August.
    12. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    13. Martin, Philippe, 1999. "Public policies, regional inequalities and growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 85-105, July.
    14. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00754078. 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: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.