Transport Economics


Course Objective

The aim of this course is to provide students with an advanced knowledge
of contemporary transport economics, considering both intra-city
transport (e.g. congested road traffic, urban transit) and inter-city
transport (notably aviation). Students

- learn theoretical and empirical methods applied in the field of
transport economics and in related fields, such as transport planning.
- get a good understanding of the fundamental policy questions that are
addressed in the field, and the methods with which these are addressed.
- learn the current state of affairs in the literature.
are trained to critically read and properly understand contributions in
the leading journals in the field.

Course Content

This course covers advanced topics in theoretical and empirical research
on urban transport economics. Key issues are value of time and
reliability; cost functions and scale economies for various modes;
congestion analysis in
static and dynamic formulations; network equilibrium and optimum for
deterministic and stochastic network models; first-best and second-best
pricing in static and dynamic networks; investment analysis under first-
best and second-best pricing; industrial organization aspects of
intra-city (e.g. roads and transit) and inter-city (e.g. airports and
airlines) transport; public transport and maritime topics. The topics
are addressed from a theoretical as well
as an empirical perspective.

Teaching Methods

The course is made up of 12 lectures and 6 tutorials. The tutorial
consists of three parts. In the first part (weeks 1 and 2),
re-familiarise with the use of the Lagrange method to solve constrained
optimization problems, and with the (economic) interpretation of the
Lagrange multipliers. In both weeks, students work in class on
assignments. They also should work on a second set of assignments that
will be graded and discussed. Following the lectures on network
optimality, a simulation exercise is scheduled. In the third week, the
tutorial is used to explain the exercise, and to work on the exercise.
In week 4 the results of the exercise are presented by the students.For
the third part of the tutorial (weeks 5 and 6), students are asked to
discuss an article from a list selected by the lecturers (in groups of 2
students). The grade for this part of the tutorial is based on the
report, the presentation and the contribution to the discussion
(students need to attend all tutorials to get the grade). Papers
discussed during the “Research Project” cannot be discussed during this
tutorial. Students are required to attend all tutorials.

Method of Assessment

written interim examination: 70 percent
assignments: 30 percent (paper review tutorial 10 percent, network
optimization tutorial 10 percent, methods tutorial 10 percent)


- Small, K.A. and E.T. Verhoef, The Economics of Urban Transportation.
Routledge, 2007.
- Additional literature for more specialized topics will be announced at
the start of the course.

Recommended background knowledge

Microeconomics for urban, transport and environment economics or a
similar course

General Information

Course Code E_STR_TREC
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. A.J.H. Pels
Examiner dr. A.J.H. Pels
Teaching Staff dr. A.J.H. Pels
dr. V.A.C. van den Berg

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: