Estimation of the Marginal Costs of Highway Transportation

This was the topic for my Master’s thesis. At the heart of most policy considerations lies the accurate estimation of marginal costs. This information is essential for allocating resources efficiently, ensuring equity among highway users, and for developing effective pricing mechanisms.

It was quite a popular theme back in the late 90s and early 00s but it seems like the interest has somewhat dwindled. Then again, just like most research topics, I am sure there is be a resurgence of interest in this one.

Below are the list of my publications and presentations related to this topic:

  1. “The Full Marginal Costs of Highway Travel: Methods and Empirical Estimation for North America.” Handbook in Transport Economics – Chapter 12. Editors: Andre de Palma, Robin Lindsey, Emile Quinet and Roger Vickerman, 2012. (Link)
  2. “Evaluating Highway Capacity Investments using a GIS-based tool – Trip-based Full Marginal Cost Approach.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. Vol. 2024, pp. 44-53, 2008. (Link).
  3. “Alternative Methods for Estimating Full Marginal Costs of Highway Transportation.” Transportation Research Part A, Vol. 41, pp.  768-786, 2007. (Link)
  4. “Estimation and Evaluation of Full Marginal Costs of Highway Transportation in New Jersey.” Journal of Transportation and Statistics, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2001. (Link)
  5. “Benefit Cost Analysis of Highway Investment Projects Using Regional Transportation Planning Models.” Presented at the Transportation Research Board 90th Annual Meeting, 2011.
  6. “Comparison of Tolls with Estimated Full Marginal Costs: Theory meets Reality.” Presented at the Transportation Research Board 87th Annual Meeting, 2008.
  7. “Quantification of Possible Impacts of Capacity Expansion Projects on Transportation Costs via Trip-based Full Marginal Cost Estimation Methodology.” Presented at the Transportation Research Board 87th Annual Meeting, 2008.

Anyone who is interested in this topic should check out these essential literature:

  • Banister, D. and Berechman, J. (2000) Transport Investment and Economic Development. University College London Press. (Link)
  • Small, K. (1999). “Project Evaluation,” in Transportation Policy and Economics, Brookings. (Link)
  • Small, K. (1992). Urban Transportation Economics. Harwood Academic Publishers. (Link)
  • Mohring, H. (1976). Transportation Economics, Ballinger Company, Cambridge Mass.
  • Walter A.A. (1968). The Economics of Road User Charges. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. (Link)