1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Measures of International Transport Cost for OECD Countries

This paper presents new estimates of country-specific international transport costs for 21 OECD countries over the period 1973-2005. The methodology is based on direct measures of air, maritime, and road transport costs rather than on cif/fob ratios or other balance of payments data employed in previous studies. Transport costs are calculated as costs per kilogramme for each mode of transport at a bilateral level and then aggregated. Australia and New Zealand are found to have the highest transport costs among the OECD countries considered, followed by Japan. The time trends are sensitive to the choice of deflator, but the results do not show an overall downward trend in transport costs for OECD countries, contrary to conventional wisdom, but consistent with Hummels’ (2007) recent study of global transport costs.

English

Keywords: international trade, road transport, OECD, air transport, shipping, maritime transport, transport costs, distance
JEL: L93: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Air Transportation; L90: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities: General; L92: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Railroads and Other Surface Transportation; F14: International Economics / Trade / Empirical Studies of Trade; L91: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Transportation: General; F10: International Economics / Trade / Trade: General
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