- Elgar original reference
Edited by André de Palma, Robin Lindsey, Emile Quinet and Roger Vickerman
15 External costs of transport in the United States Mark Delucchi and Don McCubbin INTRODUCTION In this chapter we report estimates of the external costs of transport in the United States.1 Generally, we cover road, rail, air and water transport; passenger transport and freight transport; and congestion, accident, air pollution, climate change, noise, water pollution and energy-security costs. However, we were not able to find estimates for all cost categories; in particular, there are fewer estimates for freight transport than for passenger transport, fewer estimates for water transport than for other modes, and fewer estimates of water pollution costs than of other costs. Table 15.1 summarizes the quality of estimates in each category. In our review, negative externalities are the unaccounted for or unpriced costs of an action. This means that they are the result of individual decisions or actions, such as whether to drive or take a train, or freight something by ship or plane, and are related to the explicit prices and unaccounted-for costs of those choices. Estimates of the external costs of transport may be used for several purposes: as a guide to more economically efficient pricing (given that the optimal price is equal to the private market price plus the estimated marginal external costs); as a guide to allocating research and development funds to mitigate the largest external costs; as part of a costbenefit analysis of optimal investment in transportation modes and infrastructure; and as part of historical or comparative analyses. As indicated in Table 15.1,...
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