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The Weakest Link: A Model of the Decline of Surface Transportation Networks

Author

Listed:
  • Feng Xie
  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

This study explores the economic mechanisms behind the decline of a surface transportation network, based on the assumption that the decline phase is a spontaneous process driven by decentralized decisions of individual travelers and privatized links. A simulation model is developed with a degeneration process by which the weakest link is removed iteratively from the network. Experiments reveal how the economic efficiency of a network evolves during the degeneration process and suggest an 'optimal' degenerated network could be derived during the decline phase in terms of maximizing total social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2007. "The Weakest Link: A Model of the Decline of Surface Transportation Networks," Working Papers 200803, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:weakestlink
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/179972
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Levinson, 2003. "Perspectives on Efficiency in Transportation," Working Papers 200303, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. David Levinson & Bhanu Yerra, 2006. "Self-Organization of Surface Transportation Networks," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(2), pages 179-188, May.
    3. Handy, Susan L., 1992. "Regional versus Local Accessibility: Variations in Suburban Form and the Effects on Non-Work Travel," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3rs4s3gc, University of California Transportation Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Levinson, 2008. "Density and dispersion: the co-development of land use and rail in London," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 55-77, January.
    2. Levinson, David & Xie, Feng, 2011. "Does First Last? The Existence and Extent of First Mover Advantages on Spatial Networks," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 4(2), pages 47-69.
    3. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Jurisdictional Control and Network Growth," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 459-483, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decline; transportation network; degeneration; welfare; accessibility;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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