A Handbook of Transport Economics
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A Handbook of Transport Economics

Edited by André de Palma, Robin Lindsey, Emile Quinet and Roger Vickerman

Bringing together insights and perspectives from close to 70 of the world’s leading experts in the field, this timely Handbook provides an up-to-date guide to the most recent and state-of-the-art advances in transport economics. The comprehensive coverage includes topics such as the relationship between transport and the spatial economy, recent advances in travel demand analysis, the external costs of transport, investment appraisal, pricing, equity issues, competition and regulation, the role of public–private partnerships and the development of policy in local bus services, rail, air and maritime transport.
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Chapter 26: Equity Dimensions of Transport Policy

Alain Trannoy


26 Equity dimensions of transport policies Alain Trannoy INTRODUCTION An introduction is generally devoted to the importance of the subject in order to convince readers to read what follows. I would like to differ from this principle of rhetoric by starting with a provocative observation. In economics, equity dimensions in transportation are far less central to the stage compared to other fields such as education, health, nutrition and housing. Obviously this observation must be taken with a grain of salt since it cannot be totally founded on a fully empirical assessment.1 Taken at face value, this observation can be depressing when writing a chapter on the role of equity considerations in formulating transport policies. Fortunately, explaining the reasons behind this state of affairs allows one to emphasize the specific and unique role of transport in the well-being of people. In that sense, this observation is fruitful to set up the issue and it leads to the framework that I am adopting to tackle the subject. Before developing this remark, it is important to define what equity means. A broad definition is sufficient at this stage. Equity considerations are invoked when some normative arguments are laid down about redistribution issues. This extensive definition can be developed in two directions to offer a better understanding of what the two words redistribution and normative mean. First, redistribution of resources or other determinants of well-being must be a matter of public debate in order for equity concerns to be practically relevant. Redistribution holds a...

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