Skip to content

Important notice

The building where our contact centre is based was evacuated last week. Our 0800 numbers are up and running again, but please be patient as we have limited support available for our contact centre staff. We’ll do our best to help you if you need to call us.  For more information read our latest media release.

Access keys for

  • h Home
  • m Menu
  • 0 Show list of access keys
  • 2 Skip to content
  • 3 Skip to top
Back to Resources

Research Report 350 Economic development benefits of transport investment

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report reviews the major approaches for assessing national and regional economic benefits, as well as the potential distributional implications of transport induced benefits. The paper assesses whether transport influences national and regional economic development, and if so, how this is role is best asserted. The primary economic assessment methods considered include: social cost benefit analysis (SCBA), input-output analysis (I-O), and computable general equilibrim (CGE). SCBA is most effective for determining the value of project objectives and outcomes from a social welfare perspective. I-O and CGE take macroeconomic perspectives of system wide effects of transport investment including employment, GDP and taxes.

The link between transport improvement and economic development depends on complementary regional infrastructure and specific contextual considerations. I-O poses a risk of over-stating results.

CGE may be effective at a national level, but faces scaling issues for regional or local effects. Neither is particularly useful for assessing distributional affects of investment.

The findings supports SCBA as a policy assessment methods that quantifies, in monetary terms, the value of policy consequences to society with recommendations for accommodating non-market and qualitative consideration into value propositions.

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: April 2008
  • Reference: 350
  • ISBN/ISSN: ISBN 978-0-478-30980-5 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-478-33847-6 (PDF) ISSN 1173-3756 (paperback) ISSN 1173-3764 (PDF)