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Additional resources for 16th International Symposium on Theory and Practice in Transport Economics - 50 Years of Transport Research: Experience Gained and Major Challenges Ahead

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This distinction is of paramount importance in that the impacts of increased public expenditure differ according to whether the increase is in public consumption or public investment. If, in the latter case, an increase in public investment has the effect of attracting private investment (crowding-in) by influencing the productivity of private capital, the increase in total public expenditure due to the increase in current expenditure, on the other hand, has a crowding-out effect on short-term private investment, unlike the former which derives from the increase in interest rates.

A government that privatises its ports and does so at a price that is under the real value is effectively subsidising, which has a direct impact on competition. But what happens when replacement investments are needed? To what extent do government funds for (port) infrastructure affect the competitive balance within the sector? Similar questions may be asked in relation to rail transport (cf. the so-called joint cost nature of certain items). On the basis of the above, we assert that European freight transport needs not only fair and efficient pricing but also, and perhaps even more so, fair and efficient competition.

Most of the studies that have been conducted, however, have focused exclusively on characterising the latter. The effects that a given investment can have on economic activity are both numerous and diverse in that they depend on not only the time frame and the geographical or economic area considered, but also the specific circumstances and agents involved. It is for this reason, for example, that it is possible to talk in terms of impacts on aggregate demand or aggregate supply, the short- or long-term macroeconomic or microeconomic impacts at the national or regional level, global or sectoral impacts, qualitative or quantitative impacts, etc.

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