nep-tre New Economics Papers
on Transport Economics
Issue of 2024‒04‒15
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Teodoor Verhoef, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  1. Driving Under the Influence of Allergies: The Effect of Seasonal Pollen on Traffic Fatalities By Shooshan Danagoulian; Monica Deza
  2. Is More Always Better? Evaluating Accessibility to Parks and Forests in 33 European Cities Using Sustainable Modes of Transportation By , Marcin Wozniak; Radzimski, Adam; Wajchman-Świtalska, Sandra
  3. How much should public transport services be expanded, and who should pay? Experimental evidence from Switzerland By Lichtin, Florian; Smith, E. Keith; Axhausen, Kay W.; Bernauer, Thomas
  4. The Proposed Tollgate Price Hike's Potential Impact on Inflation in Sierra Leone: A Counterfactual Estimation By Kpukumu, Kabineh; Barrie, Mohamed Samba
  5. Collaboration and Connectivity: Historical Evidence from Patent Records By Berger, Thor; Prawitz, Erik
  6. Improved Inter-Island Transport Connectivity, Local Employment and Job Quality By Kris Francisco; Neil Irwin Moreno; Aniceto Orbeta, Jr.
  7. A vicious cycle along busy bus corridors and how to abate it By Minyu Shen; Weihua Gu; Michael J. Cassidy; Yongjie Lin; Wei Ni
  8. Do Commuting Subsidies Drive Workers to Better Firms? By David R. Agrawal; Elke J. Jahn; Eckhard Janeba
  9. Understanding drivers’ perspectives on the use of driver monitoring systems during automated driving: Findings from a qualitative focus group study By Coyne, Rory; Hanlon, Michelle; Smeaton, Alan; Corcoran, Peter; Walsh, Jane C
  10. Working from Home Increases Work-Home Distances By Coskun, Sena; Dauth, Wolfgang; Gartner, Hermann; Stops, Michael; Weber, Enzo
  11. Recent Changes in the Landscape of the Global Automotive Industry By Song, Myungkoo
  12. Global Shipyard Capacities Limiting the Ramp-Up of Global Hydrogen-based Transportation By Maximilian Stargardt; David Kress; Heidi Heinrichs; J\"orn-Christian Meyer; Jochen Lin{\ss}en; Grit Walther; Detlef Stolten

  1. By: Shooshan Danagoulian; Monica Deza
    Abstract: Traffic fatalities are the leading cause of mortality in the United States despite being preventable. While several policies have been introduced to improve traffic safety and their effects have been well documented, the role of transitory health shocks or situational factors at explaining variations in fatal traffic accidents has been understudied. Exploring daily variation in city-specific pollen counts, this study finds novel evidence that traffic fatalities increase on days in which the local pollen count are particularly high. We find that the effects are present in accidents involving private vehicles and occur most frequently on the weekends, suggesting potentially the missed opportunity to avoid these fatalities. We do not find similar effects for fleet vehicles. These findings remain robust to alternative specifications and alternative definitions of high pollen count. Taken together, this study finds evidence that a prevalent and transitory exogenous health-shock, namely pollen allergies, increases traffic fatalities. Given our lack of evidence of avoidance, these effects are not mechanical and are likely driven by cognitive impairments that arise as a result of seasonal allergies.
    JEL: I1 I12 R4
    Date: 2024–03
  2. By: , Marcin Wozniak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland); Radzimski, Adam; Wajchman-Świtalska, Sandra
    Abstract: Enhancing quality of life in contemporary cities hinges on convenient access to parks and forests, offering avenues for physical activity and social engagement, as well as benefits for mental health and opportunities for educational pursuits. This comprehensive study delves into the accessibility to parks and forests across 33 major European cities, employing an interdisciplinary framework drawing from transportation and urban planning methodologies. By analyzing accessibility to urban green spaces (UGS) through sustainable modes of transportation, the research aims at unveiling patterns shaped by population density, terrain elevation, city area and transportation infrastructure. Notably, disparities in accessibility emerge both within and between cities, with urban parks, typically nestled in city centers, exhibiting more equitable accessibility compared to forests, often situated on the outskirts. Further results show that the area of UGS, road network density, public transit availability, and elevation gradients influence parks and forests accessibility with different strengths and in different configurations, unveiling the complexity of green space distribution within urban landscapes. Across transportation modes, disparities in accessibility are most pronounced for pedestrians, accentuating the need for targeted interventions to bridge the gaps. The study also emphasizes the significance of discerning qualitative distinctions among diverse green spaces, advocating for tailored strategies in UGS planning. Acknowledging the pivotal role of parks in augmenting UGS accessibility, particularly in densely populated areas and for short-distance journeys, the paper underscores the urgency of fair provision. Finally, this research furnishes insights for policymakers and urban planners committed to fostering inclusive, healthy and sustainable urban environments.
    Date: 2024–03–12
  3. By: Lichtin, Florian; Smith, E. Keith; Axhausen, Kay W.; Bernauer, Thomas
    Abstract: The twin challenge of increasing capacity to accommodate growing travel demand while simultaneously decarbonizing the transport sector places enormous pressure on public transport (PT) systems globally. Arguably the most fundamental policy choice and trade-off in designing and operating PT systems in the coming years will be service levels versus cost implications. On the presumption that public (citizen and consumer) opinion is crucial to making such choices, we study this question with a focus on Switzerland by using a factorial experiment (n = 1'634) that considers the frequency and geographic coverage of PT services as well as the cost implications for PT users and taxpayers. We find that support for increased frequency of connections and more services to peripheral regions is high as long as such service expansion is funded mainly by the government, rather than PT users. Preferences are generally consistent across subgroups, except in the case of government funding, where preferences differ by political orientation. This suggests that there is substantial demand across the board for PT services expansion funded primarily by the government, but that the question of funding is also potentially politically the most controversial. While our findings are specific to a country with a highly developed PT system, our research provides a template for similar research in other countries that struggle with a similar challenge.
    Date: 2024–03–13
  4. By: Kpukumu, Kabineh; Barrie, Mohamed Samba
    Abstract: This research investigates the potential impact of proposed tollgate price adjustments on inflation dynamics in Sierra Leone using a suite of Bayesian Vector Autoregressive (VAR) models with data from 2007M1 to 2024M1. Around 2015-2016, the government of Sierra Leone initiated a crucial road expansion project in partnership with China Railway Seventh Group Co., Ltd. (CRSG), aiming to improve transportation networks by extending the road from Wellington in Freetown to Masiaka in Port Loko District. As per the agreement, three tollgates were to be erected at strategic points along this expanded route: Hastings, Songo, and Masiaka. Despite maintaining stable tollgate prices since their inception in 2017, CSRG has indicated recently that they want to revise the tollgate prices to reflect exchange rate depreciation, thus prompting an examination of this proposed move on inflation. Projections from the model simulations indicate that if the proposed toll gate price revisions are enacted in April 2024, transport inflation would surge by 1.55% month-on-month and by 5.3% year-on-year from April to July 2024 cumulatively. In dissecting the transport sector, our analysis revealed a clear pattern: without the tollgate effect, transport inflation showed a gradual upward trajectory. However, upon modeling the potential effects of the proposed tollgate price revisions, a sharp increase in transport inflation is observed. Moreover, food inflation is projected to experience a significant year on-year rise of 7.15% cumulatively, while headline inflation is expected to increase by 4.62% over the period from April to June 2024. Furthermore, an examination of food inflation patterns revealed an interesting trend: before accounting for the toll gate effect, food inflation showed a declining trend over the observation period. However, upon factoring in the tollgate effect, while food inflation continued to decline, it did so at levels higher than would have been the case without the toll gate effect. These insights hold key policy implications, such as closely monitoring, communicating transparently, and coordinating responses to mitigate inflationary impacts and foster economic stability.
    Keywords: Tollgate prices, Inflation dynamics, Bayesian VAR framework, Policy implications, Sierra Leone
    Date: 2024
  5. By: Berger, Thor (Department of Economics and Statistics); Prawitz, Erik (Department of Economics and Statistics)
    Abstract: Why has collaboration become increasingly central to technological progress? We document the role of lowered travel costs by combining patent data with the rollout of the Swedish railroad network in the 19th and early-20th century. Inventors that gain access to the network are more likely to produce collaborative patents, which is partly driven by long-distance collaborations with other inventors residing along the emerging railroad network. These results suggest that the declining costs of interacting with others is fundamental to account for the long-term increase in inventive collaboration.
    Keywords: Innovation; Collaboration; Transport infrastructure; Railroads
    JEL: L91 N73 O18 O31
    Date: 2023–03–28
  6. By: Kris Francisco (Philippine Insttute of Development Studies); Neil Irwin Moreno (ACERD); Aniceto Orbeta, Jr. (Philippine Insttute of Development Studies)
    Abstract: This paper exploits the timing of the implementation of the Roll-on/Roll-off policy to assess the impact of improved inter-island transport connectivity on local employment and job quality. While not a direct goal of the policy, this paper seeks to demonstrate the mechanism by which improvement in the transport system affects local economies in the Philippines. Using the difference-in-differences strategy, we compared the employment outcomes in municipalities hosting the ports included in the RORO network against those municipalities with ports that are excluded from the network. Our results show that female workers with middle and high skill level largely benefitted from access to the RORO network. We also found that the increase in employment was driven by the services sector, particularly the finance and insurance industries.
    Keywords: Roll-on/Roll-off transport, Local employment, Job quality, Philippines
    JEL: O18 L91 J40
    Date: 2024–03
  7. By: Minyu Shen; Weihua Gu; Michael J. Cassidy; Yongjie Lin; Wei Ni
    Abstract: We unveil that a previously-unreported vicious cycle can be created when bus queues form at curbside stops along a corridor. Buses caught in this cycle exhibit growing variation in headways as they travel from stop to stop. Bus (and patron) delays accumulate in like fashion and can grow large on long, busy corridors. We show that this damaging cycle can be abated in simple ways. Present solutions entail holding buses at a corridor entrance and releasing them as per various strategies proposed in the literature. We introduce a modest variant to the simplest of these strategies. It releases buses at headways that are slightly less than, or equal to, the scheduled values. It turns out that periodically releasing buses at slightly smaller headways can substantially reduce bus delays caused by holding so that benefits can more readily outweigh costs in corridors that contain a sufficient number of serial bus stops. The simple variant is shown to perform about as well as, or better than, other bus-holding strategies in terms of saving delays, and is more effective than other strategies in regularizing bus headways. We also show that grouping buses from across multiple lines and holding them by group can be effective when patrons have the flexibility to choose buses from across all lines in a group. Findings come by formulating select models of bus-corridor dynamics and using these to simulate part of the Bus Rapid Transit corridor in Guangzhou, China.
    Date: 2024–03
  8. By: David R. Agrawal; Elke J. Jahn; Eckhard Janeba
    Abstract: An unappreciated potential benefit of commuting subsidies is that they can expand the choice set of feasible job opportunities in a way that facilitates a better job match quality. Variations in wages and initial commuting distances, combined with major reforms of the commuting subsidy formula in Germany, generate worker-specific variation in commuting subsidy changes. We study the effect of changes in these subsidies on a worker’s position in the wage distribution. Increases in the generosity of commuting subsidies induce workers to switch to higher-paying jobs with longer commutes. Although increases in commuting subsidies generally induce workers to switch to employers that pay higher wages, commuting subsidies also enhance positive assortativity in the labor market by better matching high-ability workers to higher-productivity plants. Greater assortativity induced by commuting subsidies corresponds to greater earnings inequality.
    Keywords: commuting, commuting subsidies, taxes, wage distribution, local labor markets, AKM, assortativity
    JEL: H20 H31 J20 J61 R23 R48
    Date: 2024
  9. By: Coyne, Rory (National University of Ireland, Galway); Hanlon, Michelle; Smeaton, Alan; Corcoran, Peter; Walsh, Jane C (NUI Galway)
    Abstract: With the introduction of automated driving, drivers can delegate responsibility of the driving task to an automated system. In some situations, however, human intervention may still be necessary. Driver fatigue exacerbated by prolonged automated driving can imperil the safety of transitions of control between automated system and human driver. Driver monitoring systems (DMS) are therefore necessary to assess the driver's mental state in real-time and oversee the safety of automated driving by ensuring that the driver is cognitively ready to take over when necessary. While automated driving and DMS will afford several distinct advantages that can improve the safety and experience of driving, little is known concerning how drivers themselves perceive these technologies. The present study was therefore conducted to examine drivers' perspectives on the use of DMS during automated driving, using a qualitative focus group approach. A reflexive thematic analysis of the data generated five themes. These themes illustrate that drivers perceive DMS within automated driving as a supplemental but non-essential layer of support that comes with considerable costs to their perceived privacy, autonomy, and their enjoyment derived from the experience of driving. Concerns regarding the perceived reliability of DMS were also raised. Recommendations for future empirical and practical work are also provided.
    Date: 2024–03–14
  10. By: Coskun, Sena (FAU Erlangen Nuremberg); Dauth, Wolfgang (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung); Gartner, Hermann (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Stops, Michael (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Weber, Enzo (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: This paper examines how the shift towards working from home during and after the Covid-19 pandemic shapes the way how labor market and locality choices interact. For our analysis, we combine large administrative data on employment biographies in Germany and a new working from home potential indicator based on comprehensive data on working conditions across occupations. We find that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the distance between workplace and residence has increased more strongly for workers in occupations that can be done from home: The association of working from home potential and work-home distance increased significantly since 2021 as compared to a stable pattern before. The effect is much larger for new jobs, suggesting that people match to jobs with high working from home potential that are further away than before the pandemic. Most of this effect stems from jobs in big cities, which indicates that working from home alleviates constraints by tight housing markets. We find no significant evidence that commuting patterns changed more strongly for women than for men.
    Keywords: working from home, commuting, urban labor markets
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2024–03
  11. By: Song, Myungkoo (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the effects of the changing global automotive landscape from several perspectives. In particular, we consider changes in vehicle production and sales to assess the supply and demand sides of the industry. We also take into account changes in exports to examine the state of global trade. All of these changes are considered through the lens of countries rather than firms. In addition, we examine the South Korean automotive industry as a case study to elaborate on the details of recent changes and the response of automakers. We conclude the paper with a review of policy instruments recently implemented to stimulate the EV market. Thank you for reading this abstract of a report from the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade! Visit us on YouTube: Visit us on Instagram: Visit our website:
    Keywords: manufacturing industry; auto manufacturing; automotive industry; auto industry; internal combustion engine; ICE; electric vehicles; EVs; batteries; EV adoption; EV policy; Hyundai; Kia; Genesis; Korea; KIET
    JEL: L62 L98
    Date: 2024–02–29
  12. By: Maximilian Stargardt (Forschungszentrum J\"ulich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Techno-economic Systems Analysis; RWTH Aachen University, Chair of Fuel Cells, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aachen, Germany); David Kress (Forschungszentrum J\"ulich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Techno-economic Systems Analysis); Heidi Heinrichs (Forschungszentrum J\"ulich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Techno-economic Systems Analysis); J\"orn-Christian Meyer (RWTH Aachen University, Chair of Operations Management, Schoolf of Business and Economics, Aachen, Germany); Jochen Lin{\ss}en (Forschungszentrum J\"ulich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Techno-economic Systems Analysis); Grit Walther (RWTH Aachen University, Chair of Operations Management, Schoolf of Business and Economics, Aachen, Germany); Detlef Stolten (Forschungszentrum J\"ulich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Techno-economic Systems Analysis; RWTH Aachen University, Chair of Fuel Cells, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aachen, Germany)
    Abstract: Decarbonizing the global energy system requires significant expansions of renewable energy technologies. Given that cost-effective renewable sources are not necessarily situated in proximity to the largest energy demand centers globally, the maritime transportation of low-carbon energy carriers, such as renewable-based hydrogen or ammonia, will be needed. However, whether existent shipyards possess the required capacity to provide the necessary global fleet has not yet been answered. Therefore, this study estimates global tanker demand based on projections for global hydrogen demand, while comparing these projections with historic shipyard production. Our findings reveal a potential bottleneck until 2033-2039 if relying on liquefied hydrogen exclusively. This bottleneck could be circumvented by increasing local hydrogen production, utilizing pipelines, or liquefied ammonia as an energy carrier for hydrogen. Furthermore, the regional concentration of shipyard locations raises concerns about diversification. Increasing demand for container vessels could substantially hinder the scale-up of maritime hydrogen transport.
    Date: 2024–03

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