Friday, February 28, 2014

Generating Greater Interest in Transportation Economics

The International Transportation Economics Association is a small organization that occasionally puts out a newsletter.  Two recent newsletter articles caught my attention.  I discuss the first here and the second in a subsequent post.

In the first, Clifford Winston discusses "Generating Greater Interest in Transportation Economics among Economists"  Winston claims that "...transportation’s status in the economics profession ... falls far short of its importance to the economy."

He offers four suggestions: 1.) document the importance of transportation to an economy, 2.) "quantify the effect of changes in a transportation system on specific sectors and on the overall economy", 3.) contribute more actively to cross-disciplinary fertilization, and 4.) inform policymakers.

An important recent study that hits on all of these points, but especially the first two, and which Winston cites, has to do with the development of the rail system in India.  

I like to think some of my recent work hits on these points as well, especially 4 and 3, cross-disciplinary fertilization.  Next month Matt Kahn and I will release a working paper that sits at the intersection of transportation economics and political economy.