Railroad Performance Under the Staggers Act
7 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2011 Last revised: 19 Feb 2013
Date Written: January 20, 2011
Thirty years have passed since the Staggers Act was signed into law and we can now take a fairly long measure of how well it has lived up to its promise. We can also venture some guesses as to what is in store for U.S. railroads and their shippers in the first half of the new century. We argue in this article that the Staggers Act has lived up to its promise, delivering early, substantially, and over a long period of time. However, railroad productivity growth in the years ahead will likely be less than what was experienced in the decades after Staggers, though it should be enough to sustain the industry. The interesting question is how the struggle will play out between railroads and shippers over who will capture the greater share of those gains.
Keywords: Staggers Act, Federal railroad policy, railroad regulation, deregulation, transportation, U.S. railroad industry, government policy
JEL Classification: L90, L91, L92, L98
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation