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Optimal Transport Networks in Spatial Equilibrium

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  • Pablo D. Fajgelbaum
  • Edouard Schaal

Abstract

We study optimal transport networks in spatial equilibrium. We develop a framework consisting of a neoclassical trade model with labor mobility in which locations are arranged on a graph. Goods must be shipped through linked locations, and transport costs depend on congestion and on the infrastructure in each link, giving rise to an optimal transport problem in general equilibrium. The optimal transport network is the solution to a social planner’s problem of building infrastructure in each link. We provide conditions such that this problem is globally convex, guaranteeing its numerical tractability. We also study cases with increasing returns to transport technologies in which global convexity fails. We apply the framework to assess optimal investments and inefficiencies in observed road networks in European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Edouard Schaal, 2017. "Optimal Transport Networks in Spatial Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 23200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23200
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    Cited by:

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    3. Herzog, Ian, 2021. "National transportation networks, market access, and regional economic growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    4. Santamaria, Marta, 2020. "Reshaping Infrastructure: Evidence from the division of Germany," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1244, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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    6. Santamaria, Marta, 2020. "Reshaping Infrastructure : Evidence from the division of Germany," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 456, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
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    9. César Ducruet & Réka Juhász & Dávid Krisztián Nagy & Claudia Steinwender, 2019. "All Aboard: The Aggregate Effects of Port Development," Working Papers 1160, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    10. Arthur Charpentier & Alfred Galichon & Lucas Vernet, 2019. "Optimal transport on large networks a practitioner guide," Working Papers hal-02173210, HAL.
    11. Dávid Krisztián Nagy, 2020. "Hinterlands, City Formation and Growth: Evidence from the U.S. Westward Expansion," Working Papers 1172, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    12. Török, Ádám & Konka, Boglárka, 2019. "Eukleidész és a magyar regionális fejlődés. Válaszcikk Lengyel Imre-Varga Attila tanulmányára és kutatási javaslatok [Euclid and Hungarian regional development. A response to the study of Imre Leng," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 713-722.
    13. Arthur Charpentier & Alfred Galichon & Lucas Vernet, 2019. "Optimal transport on large networks, a practitioner's guide," Papers 1907.02320, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2019.
    14. Akihiko Yanase & Ngo Van Long, 2020. "Strategic Investment in an International Infrastructure Capital: Nonlinear Equilibrium Paths in a Dynamic Game between Two Symmetric Countries," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, December.
    15. Jaimovich, Esteban, 2019. "Roadways, input sourcing, and patterns of specialization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    16. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Cecile Gaubert, 2018. "Optimal Spatial Policies, Geography and Sorting," 2018 Meeting Papers 1319, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Giulia Brancaccio & Myrto Kalouptsidi & Theodore Papageorgiou & Nicola Rosaia, 2020. "Search Frictions and Efficiency in Decentralized Transport Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 1010, Boston College Department of Economics.
    18. David Krisztián Nagy, 2020. "Quantitative economic geography meets history: Questions, answers and challenges," Economics Working Papers 1774, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2021.
    19. Gabriel Loumeau, 2021. "Locating Public Facilities: Theory and Micro Evidence from Paris," CESifo Working Paper Series 8908, CESifo.
    20. Giulia Brancaccio & Myrto Kalouptsidi & Theodore Papageorgiou, 2020. "Geography, Transportation, and Endogenous Trade Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 657-691, March.
    21. Akamatsu, Takashi & Mori, Tomoya & Osawa, Minoru & Takayama, Yuki, 2017. "Spatial scale of agglomeration and dispersion: Theoretical foundations and empirical implications," MPRA Paper 80689, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Dávid Krisztián Nagy, 2021. "Quantitative Economic Geography Meets History: Questions, Answers and Challenges," Working Papers 1249, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    23. Giulia Brancaccio & Myrto Kalouptsidi & Theodore Papageorgiou & Nicola Rosaia, 2020. "Search Frictions and Efficiency in Decentralized Transportation Markets," NBER Working Papers 27300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Shuzhong Ma & Mengheng Liu, 2020. "Spatial correlation effect of China's outward foreign direct investment in countries along the One Belt and One Road," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 228-249, May.

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    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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