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Infrastructure, competition regimes, and air transport costs: cross-country evidence

  • Micco, Alejandro
  • Serebrisky, Tomas

The relevance of transport costs has increased as liberalization continues to reduce artificial barriers to trade. Countries need to adopt policies to get closer to global markets. Can improvements in infrastructure and regulation reduce transport costs? Is it worthwhile to implement policies designed to increase competition in transport markets? Focusing on air transport, which has increased its share in US imports from 24 percent in 1990 to 35 percent in 2000, this paper quantifies the effects of infrastructure, regulatory quality and liberalization of air cargo markets on transport costs. During the 1990s, the United States implemented a series of Open Skies Agreements, providing a unique opportunity to assess the effect that a change in the competition regime has on prices. We find that infrastructure, quality of regulation and competition matter. In our sample, an improvement in airport infrastructure from the 25th to 75th percentiles reduces air transport costs by 15 percent. A similar improvement in the quality of regulation reduces air transport costs by 14 percent. Open Skies Agreements further reduce air transport costs by 8 percent.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3355.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3355
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  1. Alejandro Micco & Ernesto H. Stein & Guillermo Luis Ordoñez, 2003. "The Currency Union Effect on Trade: Early Evidence from EMU," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6511, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Redding, Stephen J. & Venables, Anthony J, 2003. "Geography and Export Performance: External Market Access and Internal Supply Capacity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Henry Overman & Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Economic Geography of Trade, Production, and Income: A Survey of Empirics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0508, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra, 1996. "U.S. Imports, 1972-1994: Data and Concordances," NBER Working Papers 5515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2001. "Trade in international maritime services : how much does policy matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2522, The World Bank.
  6. Ximena Clark & David Dollar & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Port Efficiency, Maritime Transport Costs and Bilateral Trade," NBER Working Papers 10353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro & Clark, Ximena, 2002. "Maritime transport costs and port efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2781, The World Bank.
  8. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517 Elsevier.
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