The Wider Economic Benefits of Transport

Macro-, Meso- and Micro-Economic Transport Planning and Investment Tools

image of The Wider Economic Benefits of Transport

The standard cost-benefit analysis of transport infrastructure investment projects weighs a project’s costs against users’ benefits. This approach has been challenged on the grounds that it ignores wider economic impacts of such projects. At this International Transport Forum Round Table, leading academics and practitioners addressed these concerns and examined a range of potential approaches for evaluating wider impacts – negative as well as positive. They concluded that for smaller projects, it is better to focus on timely availability of results, even if this means forgoing sophisticated analysis of wider impacts. For larger projects or investment programs, customized analysis of these effects is more easily justifiable. Creating consistent appraisal procedures is a research priority.

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Progress and Challenges in the Application of Economic Analysis for transport Policy and Decidion Making

Concluding Comments for the Research Roundtable on Infrastructure Planning and Assessment Tools

International Transport Forum

This concluding paper discusses key aspects of the five research papers presented at this Roundtable in terms of their policy applications. It notes problems concerning how policy makers make use of economic analysis findings, and then summarizes the breadth of macro-, meso- and micro-economic methods in terms of their predictive use for infrastructure assessment and planning. It then examines tradeoffs and limitations among all the methods that affect their policy application, and it identifies directions needed to enhance the applicability of future economic models for policy makers.

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