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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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Recent Evolution of research into the Wider Economic Benefit of Transport Infrastructure Investments

International Transport Forum

The debate on whether there are wider economic benefits from transport infrastructure investments continues to cause debate and controversy. This debate occurs both between analysts seeking to find a robust method for identifying and measuring the size of such benefits and between policy makers seeking to justify or refute the need for a particular investment. It is timely to review progress on arriving at a consensus view of the contribution of infrastructure to the wider economy which is consistent with best practice in appraisal. This paper will review progress and try to bring out some common themes for discussion.

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