Determinants of Australian Rail Productivity in the 20th Century

29 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2008

Date Written: December 1, 2008


Productivity growth in Australia's railways through the 20th Century was neither smooth nor uniformly positive. It was static or falling for much of the century, before increasing rapidly with dieselisation and the rise of minerals traffic. This paper uses regression analysis to develop an understanding of the factors which drove productivity growth throughout the 20th Century, using a unique dataset developed at the Centre for Research in Applied Economics at Curtin University. It aims not only to understand the growth of rail in the 20th Century, but also to provide lessons for policymakers about what can assist it in continuing to grow in the 21st.

Keywords: Railways, Productivity

JEL Classification: D24, L92

Suggested Citation

Mills, John Ayres and Wills-Johnson, Nick, Determinants of Australian Rail Productivity in the 20th Century (December 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

John Ayres Mills

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072

Nick Wills-Johnson (Contact Author)

DBP ( email )

PO Box Z5267
St Georges Terrace
Perth, 6831

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