Topic: 14. Evaluation

A complete indexing and article service is available free from 1967 to 2000

Evaluation of Consumer Surplus with Dynamic Demand

The search for higher utility alternatives underpins the empirical observation that longer-run demand elasticities tend to be higher than in the short run. However, there is another implication, that there will be a bias if consumer surplus is estimated by the use of a static model. This paper shows that there is a special case where using a static elasticity does not give bias.

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Problems in Estimating Comparative Costs of Safety and Mobility

The costs and benefits of safety cannot logically be separated from the costs and benefits of mobility. Although the value of life and the value of time are difficult to estimate, there are means available for approaching monetary values. Calculations are given for one well-known safety intervention: the US 55 mph speed limit.

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The Optimal Timing of Infrastructure Investment

This paper looks at the differences between the private firm and the public planner in timing investment in projects involving large sunk costs in growing markets. It shows that competition in the private sector will drive firms to invest earlier than the socially preferred date whilst a low ratio of private (producer) to public (producer plus consumer) benefits will cause them to delay relative to the socially preferred date. The paper looks at policy instruments for altering the private sector’s timing decision.

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Privatised transport Infrastructure and Incentives to Invest

The paper examines arguments which suggest that the investment plans of the UK’s nationalised industries before the end of the 1970s were inadequately constrained by the control mechanisms then in place but the newly privatised utilities subject to price cap regulation have inadequate incentives to invest. Comparison of the likely social costs of underinvestment and overinvestment suggest that the former will generally be higher under existing regulatory mechanisms. The paper concludes by suggesting solutions to the dilemma posed.

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Distributional Cost-Benefit Analysis in Discrete Choice

Conventional cost-benefit analysis treats a dollar as a dollar, to whomsoever it accrues. Finer analysis, by income and nature of the trip, may reveal that most of the benefit accrues to high-income groups. The author applies the methodology to corridor planning in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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