On Measuring the Benefits of Lower Transport Costs

33 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Hanan G. Jacoby

Hanan G. Jacoby

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Bart Minten

Cornell University - Food and Nutrition Policy Program; Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Agro-Engineering and Economics

Date Written: January 1, 2008

Abstract

Despite large amounts invested in rural roads in developing countries, little is known about their benefits. This paper derives an expression for the willingness-to-pay for a reduction in transport costs from the canonical agricultural household model and uses it to estimate the benefits of a hypothetical road project. Estimation is based on novel cross-sectional data collected in a small region of Madagascar with enormous, yet plausibly exogenous, variation in transport cost. A road that essentially eliminated transport costs in the study area would boost the incomes of the remotest households-those facing transport costs of about USD 75/ton-by nearly half, mostly by raising non-farm earnings. This benefit estimate is contrasted to one based on a hedonic approach.

Keywords: Transport Economics Policy & Planning, Rural Roads & Transport, Economic Theory & Research, Rural Transport

Suggested Citation

Jacoby, Hanan G. and Minten, Bart, On Measuring the Benefits of Lower Transport Costs (January 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4484, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1086863

Hanan G. Jacoby

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/hjacoby

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Bart Minten (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Food and Nutrition Policy Program ( email )

BP 6313
Antananarivo 101
Madagascar
033 11 38520 (Phone)
261 20 2222198 (Fax)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Agro-Engineering and Economics ( email )

Kardinaal Mercierlaan 92
Heverlee, B-3001
Belgium

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