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“On the modal shift from motorway to high-speed rail: evidence from Italy”

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Albalate

    () (Dept. of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics, University of Barcelona, Spain.)

  • Mattia Borsati

    () (Dept. of Economics and Management, University of Trento, Italy.)

Abstract

The development of high-speed rail (HSR) has had a notable impact on modal market shares on the routes on which its services have been implemented. The aim of this study is to analyse whether the HSR expansion in Italy has led to a modal shift from motorway to HSR. We empirically test i) whether HSR openings adjacent to motorway sectors have reduced the total km travelled by light vehicles on these sectors during the period 2001-2017; and ii) whether this reduction has been persistent or even more evident after the opening of on-track competition between two HSR operators. To do so, we carried out a generalized difference-in-differences estimation, using a unique panel dataset that exploits the heterogeneous traffic data within all tolled motorway sectors in a quasi-experimental setting. Our findings reveal that neither HSR openings nor the opening of on-track competition led to a modal shift from motorway to HSR services, as the two transport modes are non-competing. Conversely, both phenomena had a slightly positive impact on motorway traffic. The extent to which HSR demand could be the result of a modal shift from motorways is a relevant issue in any cost-benefit analysis of HSR investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Albalate & Mattia Borsati, 2019. "“On the modal shift from motorway to high-speed rail: evidence from Italy”," IREA Working Papers 201910, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201910
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    File URL: http://www.ub.edu/irea/working_papers/2019/201910.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    High-speed rail; Motorways; Inter-modal competition. JEL classification:D78; L92; R41; R58.;

    JEL classification:

    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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