Meta-analytical studies in transport economics

PhD Thesis# 378
Dr. Martijn (M.R.E.) Brons
Peter Nijkamp, Piet Rietveld, Eric Pels


Vast increases in the external costs of transport in the late twentieth century have caused national and international governmental bodies to worry about the sustainability of their transport systems. In this thesis we use meta-analysis as a research method to study various topics in transport economics that are relevant for sustainable transport policymaking. Meta-analysis is a research methodology that is based on the quantitative summarization of a body of previously documented empirical evidence. In several fields of economic, meta-analysis has become a well-accepted research tool. Despite the appeal of the meta-analytical approach, there are methodological difficulties that need to be acknowledged. We study a specific methodological problem which is common in meta-analysis in economics, viz., within-study dependence caused by multiple sampling techniques. By means of Monte Carlo analysis we investigate the effect of such dependence on the performance of various multivariate estimators. In the applied part of the thesis we use and develop meta-analytical techniques to study the empirical variation in indicators of the price sensitivity of demand for aviation transport, the price sensitivity of demand for gasoline, the efficiency of urban public transport and the valuation of the external costs of noise from rail transport. We focus on the estimation of mean values for these indicators and on the identification of the impact of conditioning factors.

Publisher of the TI-theses is: Rozenberg Publishing Services