1st Edition

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

Edited By Jeffrey Macher, John Mayo Copyright 2019
    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.



    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




    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.