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The Performance of Road Transport Infrastructure and its Links to Policies

Listed author(s):
  • Henrik Braconier


  • Mauro Pisu


  • Debra Bloch


Despite the economic importance of the road transport sector, there is no systematic cross-country evidence on the sector’s efficiency. This paper develops a conceptual framework for analysing the social efficiency of the road transport sector, including non-market inputs – such as travel time – and negative outputs – such as accidents and emissions. This framework is then used to analyse efficiency in 32 OECD countries. Data issues in terms of availability, quality and comparability are significant, and the empirical results have to be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, there is fairly robust evidence that social efficiency is low in a number of OECD countries. The low efficiency suggests that substantial room for input savings exists in these countries. A framework for analysing how road transport policies may impact performance is developed, but a scarcity of data on policy settings currently limits the scope for empirically connecting the two. Infrastructures de transport routier: performance et politiques économiques Malgré l’importance économique des transports routiers, les données sur l’efficience du secteur ne font l’objet d’aucune comparaison systématique entre les pays. Dans ce document, il est présenté un cadre conceptuel pour l’analyse de l’efficacité sociale du secteur des transports routiers, englobant des intrants non marchands (comme les temps de trajet) et des extrants négatifs (comme les accidents et les émissions). Il est ensuite recouru à ce cadre pour comparer la situation dans 32 pays de l’OCDE. D’importants problèmes se posent en termes de disponibilité, de qualité et de comparabilité des données et les résultats empiriques doivent être interprétés avec circonspection. Néanmoins, des éléments assez convaincants attestent la faiblesse de l’efficacité sociale dans un certain nombre de pays de l’OCDE, ce qui donne à penser qu’il y existe de grandes possibilités d’économies d’intrants. Il a été entrepris de définir des principes de base à suivre pour analyser les conséquences que les politiques des transports routiers peuvent avoir sur la performance, mais, faute de données suffisantes sur les cadres d’action, il n’est actuellement guère possible d’établir un lien empirique entre les deux analyses.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1016.

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Date of creation: 28 Jan 2013
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1016-en
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