The Measurement of Transaction Costs — Evidence from European Railways

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Abstract:

Whether transaction costs increase following full vertical separation of railways has been the subject of much debate, but there is still little quantitative evidence on this question. This paper applies a bottom-up approach to compute transaction costs between train operation and infrastructure firms in three European rail systems for the first time (UK, Germany, and Sweden). It finds that although full vertical separation does raise transaction costs, they are at most only around 2 per cent to 3 per cent of total costs. Therefore, only modest benefits of vertical separation — for example, through increased competition — would be needed to outweigh them.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • JTEP is international both in terms of authors and readership. Since it first appeared, more than 650 papers have been published from Europe, North America, the Pacific Rim/Australasia, Africa, Asia, and South America. This international variety is also reflected in the readership.

    Published four times a year, the journal covers all modes of transport and a wide variety of economic themes, including: Passenger Transport, Freight Transport, Shipping, Aviation, Transport Infrastructure, Environment & Energy, Traffic, Planning and Policy, Safety, Costs & Pricing, Competition, Evaluation, Productivity, Demand & Elasticities, Service Quality, Economies of Scale, Economics Regulation and Choice.

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