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Identifying Winners and Losers in Transportation


  • David Levinson

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


This paper explores the issues surrounding transportation equity for effects both external and internal to transportation. Several examples of transportation "improvements" imposing transportation costs on more individuals than who are benefited are provided. Beyond counting the number of winners and losers, several quantitative measures of equity are suggested. To that end, transportation benefit cost analyses should include an "Equity Impact Statement". This statement would consider the distribution of the opportunities to participate in decisions and the outcomes of those decisions (in terms of mobility, economic, environmental, and health effects) that different strata (spatial, temporal, modal, generational, gender, racial, cultural, and income) of the population receive. Policy makers would then have additional information on which to base decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • David Levinson, 2002. "Identifying Winners and Losers in Transportation," Working Papers 200204, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:winnersandlosers

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Levinson, 2001. "Financing Infrastructure Over Time," Working Papers 200101, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. David Levinson & David Gillen, 1997. "The Full Cost of Intercity Highway Transportation," Working Papers 199704, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    3. Hansen, Mark & Huang, Yuanlin, 1997. "Road supply and traffic in California urban areas," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 205-218, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Novak, David C. & Koliba, Chris & Zia, Asim & Tucker, Matt, 2015. "Evaluating the outcomes associated with an innovative change in a state-level transportation project prioritization process: A case study of Vermont," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 130-143.
    2. Stewart, Anson F. & Zegras, P. Christopher, 2016. "CoAXs: A Collaborative Accessibility-based Stakeholder Engagement System for communicating transport impacts," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 423-433.
    3. Karel Martens, 2011. "Substance precedes methodology: on cost–benefit analysis and equity," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 959-974, November.

    More about this item


    Environmental Justice; Social and Economic Factors; Equity; Benefit-Cost; Transportation Evaluation .;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General


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