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Free Content Short-run Total Cost Change and Productivity of US Class I Railroads

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This paper examines how productivity changes contribute to short-run cost variations over time and across railroads. Using an unbalanced panel of US Class I railroad data for the period 1996–2003, decomposition models were used to attribute intertemporal and multilateral cost variations to their causal factors. We find that (i) railroads were able to reduce their physical capitals in recent years; (ii) railroads experienced technical progress over time, but they were technically and allocatively inefficient in some time periods; and (iii) the benchmarking railroads could learn from the low-cost and cost-efficient benchmark when it comes to cost savings.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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