Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Jiyoung Park, James E. Moore II and Qisheng Pan
The simplest way to approach the difficult problem of estimating the economic effects of the Panama Canal expansion is via the use of input-output models. The National Interstate Economic Model (NIEMO) is useful because it models all interstate trade among the US states. In addition, NIEMO has a demand-side as well as a supply-side impact estimation capability. Larger ships traversing the canal will prompt a redirection of some seaborne trade among US (and other) ports that will involve secondary effects in terms of the use of the other freight modes. This chapter provides first-cut estimates by describing how available data can be used to estimate the effects of one of these dimensions, reduced seaborne imports to the West Coast Customs Districts (WCCD: Los Angeles Customs District, San Francisco Customs District, Columbia-Snake Customs District and Seattle Customs District). Reduced port activities into California, Oregon and Washington have negative effects on transportation and warehousing industries in the states that receive foreign imports; however, there are simultaneous positive effects in the various states from increased imports into the other port states because of the modal shift.
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