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Returns to Density in Operations of the Netherlands Railways


  • Eric Pels

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Vanessa E. Daniel

    (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Piet Rietveld

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


This discussion paper resulted in an article in the International Journal of Transport Economics (2010). Volume 37(2), pages 169-194. Rail cost function analysis has been a popular topic in the (empirical) economics literature over the past decades. Most studies find increasing returns to density for rail companies. The results can, however, be quite diverse. Results for the Dutch National Railway company (NS), for instance, indicate very strong increasing returns to density (Andrikopoulos and Loizides, 1998) or decreasing returns to density (Preston, 1994). Using the, to our knowledge, most comprehensive dataset for the NS, this paper estimates a translog variable cost function for the NS. While the returns to density parameter shows increasing returns, like so many other papers_new, the calculated standard errors shows that the null hypothesis of constant returns may not be rejected.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Pels & Vanessa E. Daniel & Piet Rietveld, 2004. "Returns to Density in Operations of the Netherlands Railways," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-004/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20040004

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    1. repec:eee:transa:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:114-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:transa:v:120:y:2019:i:c:p:261-276 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General

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