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Accessibility and productivity: A cost function microdata panel approach
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transportvetenskap, Transport- och lokaliseringsanalys.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A microlevel panel dataset is used to investigate the "public capital hypothesis" for the Swedish part of the Öresund region, the county of Scania. Microlevel data could reduce problems with endogeneity of infrastructure provision and the direction of causation, provide more exact prices on labour and private capital, and introduce the possibility to analyse the sources of macro productivity. In earlier studies, it has been found that the elasticity ofpublic capital on output has decreased with the level of disaggregation, and the question is what happens at the most disaggregate level of the economy. As a proxy for infrastructure services we use an accessibility measure, whichbetter describes the service derived from the transport system than the traditional measures of public capital stock or highway density. A translog cost function, augmented with accessibility, is estimated for 24 industry aggregates. Tests for autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity reject the nullhypotheses of no such effects. Using a Within variation (fi…xed effects) approach, we …nd some indications of cost reductions in the Construction and Transportation sectors, and for the aggregated Manufacturing or Service sectors in areas with low accessibility; but not on the pooled dataset. The results are very sensitive to specifi…cation. The microlevel approach provides an interesting alternative to the aggregate production function, and many new models emerging from research could be adapted for infrastructure analysis. However, it also introduces new problems, like selection bias of entry and exit, large dispersion, measurement errors, and the location of the activity.

Keyword [en]
accessibility, infrastructure, micro level data, productivity, public capital hypothesis, unbalanced panel, Öresund region
Keyword [sv]
tillgänglighet, infrastruktur, mikrodata, produktivitet, offentligt kapital-hypotesen, obalanserad panel, Öresundsregionen
National Category
Economic Geography
Research subject
SRA - Transport
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33449OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-33449DiVA: diva2:415544
Projects
Regional development consequences of the Öresund bridge
Funder
TrenOp, Transport Research Environment with Novel Perspectives
Note
QC 20110512Available from: 2011-05-12 Created: 2011-05-07 Last updated: 2011-05-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Production econometrics and transport demand modelling in Southern and Northern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Production econometrics and transport demand modelling in Southern and Northern Sweden
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of three main parts. The first and most important part, in terms of effort and time spent, is devoted to the estimation of the importance of accessibility for production at the firm or plant level using three different econometric estimation approaches. The results could have implications for the calculation of "wider" economic benefits of transport infrastructure, stemming from agglomeration externalities (e.g., scale economies). There are both methodological and result-wise conclusions that can be drawn from this research: methodologically, first, using unbalanced firm-level data requires the use of proxy variables to account for (initial) firm-specific unobserved productivity effects, and non-random exit from the dataset. Second, there are unsolved theoretical problems when applying an essentially aggregate approach to productivity analysis on disaggregate data, viz., relating to the existence of aggregate production functions, and to the aggregation of productivity from a disaggregate level to a more aggregate level in a spatial framework.

Result-wise, clear productivity differences are presented, when comparing firms in the same time period but in different locations with different accessibility. However, it is not possible in this dataset to detect increased productivity for representative firms stemming from the opening of the Öresund link. It is therefore discussed whether the reason for this result could be the inappropriateness of output measures in a competitive business environment, where a large portion of the benefits are gradually transferred to consumers and thus remain unmeasured. Other, more comprehensive structural approaches to econometrics, including the demand side of the economy, are also recommended.

The second part of the thesis treats an unjustly neglected area of transport research: the validation of transport demand models. These transport models are for example used to calculate the new traffic patterns and changes in accessibility from a transport infrastructure investment like the Öresund fixed link, around which most of this thesis orbits. The third and last part, written with two co-authors, deals with the "vulnerability" of the road network, in terms of effects on the travel time delays of the users when a link is disrupted. The calculated indices of importance and exposure could also be seen as extreme forms of accessibility, especially when there is no alternative route besides the one that is cut-off.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. 238 p.
Series
Trita-TEC-PHD, ISSN 1653-4468 ; 11-001
Keyword
Öresund link, productivity, accessibility, micro data, validation, exposure
National Category
Economic Geography
Research subject
SRA - Transport
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33451 (URN)978-91-85539-74-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-05-27, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
TrenOp, Transport Research Environment with Novel Perspectives
Note
QC 20110513Available from: 2011-05-13 Created: 2011-05-07 Last updated: 2012-06-12Bibliographically approved

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