Topic: 12. Costs

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Cost Functions for Inland Waterways transport in the United States

American inland waterway transport is subject to a complicated system of control by government agencies, which require knowledge of costs. Inland waterway costs have fallen slightly, and a large share of the market has come into the hands of a small number of firms. The authors find increasing returns to scale for size of firm and output.

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Rail Costs and Capital Adjustments in a Quasi-Regulated Environment

This paper reports on the estimation of a cost function using pooled data for major US railroads for the period of 1974-86. Analysis is performed of short and long-run returns to scale, the extent of capital disequilibrium, and the adjustments to capital in the heavily regulated and quasi-regulated environments before and after the passage of the Staggers Act in 1980. It is found that there is considerable overcapitalisation in the rail industry and that this has persisted in spite of the Act.

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Railway Costs and Planning

Railway planners have chronically failed to recognise excess capacity. A longer view must be taken. The principles have long been understood; all that is needed is the will of governments and managers to apply them.

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Railway Costs and Closures

The network studies in the recent Serpell Report provide conclusive evidence that substantial savings would result from closure of lightly used railway lines. Political opposition to closures has been helped by deficiencies in railway costing and by excessive importance attached to contributory revenue.

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The track Costs Issue

The author criticises attempts in official publications to allocate road track costs to groups of vehicles. He suggests some areas of choice which road charges might influence.

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Optimization of traffic and Facilities

What are the costs to others of an extra car in the traffic queue, and how can they be Brought home to the individual? The author argues that tolls and differential charges are essential to the efficient use and development of urban transport facilities. He discusses also the husbandry of equipment and allocation of land for transportation.

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