U.S. Freight Rail Economics and Policy : Are We on the Right Track? book cover
1st Edition

U.S. Freight Rail Economics and Policy
Are We on the Right Track?

ISBN 9780367786465
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
308 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The passage of the Staggers Rail Act in 1980 led brought a renaissance to the freight rail industry. In the decade following, economists documented the effects of the Act on a variety of important economic metrics including prices, costs, and productivity. Over the preceding years, and with the return of the industry to more stable footing, attention to the industry by economists faded. The lack of attention, however, has not been due to a dearth of ongoing economic and policy issues that continue to confront the industry.

In this volume, we begin to rectify this inattention. Rather than retread older analyses or provide yet another look at the consequences of Staggers, we assemble a collection of ten chapters in four sections that collectively provide fresh and up-to-date analyses of the economic issues and policy challenges the industry faces: the first section sets the context through foundational discussion of freight rail; the second section highlights the role of freight rail in an increasingly interrelated economy; the third section examines industry structure and scope in freight rail; and the fourth section assesses current regulatory challenges that confront freight rail. This book will be of great value to researchers, academics, policymakers, and students interested in the fields of freight rail economics and policy, transportation, business history, and regulatory economics.

Table of Contents



Section I. Foundations

  1. "The Evolution of the Post-Staggers Rail Industry and Rail Policy" by Mark Burton and Paul Hitchcock

  2. "Economic Foundations for 21st Century Freight Rail Rate Regulation" by John W. Mayo and Robert D. Willig


    Section II. Railroads in an Increasingly Interrelated Economy

  4. "International Trade and the Demand for U.S. Rail Services" by Ferdinando Monte

  5. "Accounting for External Costs in Pricing Freight Transportation: Eight Policy Options" by David Austin

  6. "Price Effects in Truck-Competitive Railroad Markets" by Gerard McCullough and Ishay Hadah


    Section III. The Structure of the Rail Industry

  8. "Restructuring Rail Systems: Implications for Network Quality and Welfare" by David Besanko

  9. "An Empirical Analysis of Economies of Scope in the U.S. Railroad Industry" by Azrina Abdullah Al-Hadi and James Peoples


    Section IV. Railroads and Post-Staggers Regulation

  11. "The Law and Economics of Revenue Adequacy" by Jeffrey T. Macher, John W. Mayo and Lee Pinkowitz

  12. "Open Access and Revenue Adequacy" by William Huneke

  13. "Regulation in a ‘Deregulated’ Industry: Railroads in the Post-Staggers Era" by John W. Mayo and David E.M. Sappington


List of Contributors



View More



Jeffrey T. Macher is a Professor of Strategy, Economics and Public Policy in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, USA.

John W. Mayo is a Professor of Economics, Business and Public Policy in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, USA.