|Ph.D Student||Leck Eran|
|Subject||Efficiency and Equity Impacts of Transportation|
Improvements: The Case of Greater Beer-Sheva
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Professor Shlomo Bekhor|
|Professor Daniel Gat|
|Full Thesis text|
In recent years there is a growing interest in the mechanisms linking a barrier-free geography and economic efficiency and equity. This research deals with the contributions of transportation improvements to economic welfare in a system of cities characterized by a core-periphery structure. The empiric base of the research encompasses 101 cities in Israel. A particular emphasis is placed in this work on the Greater Beer-Sheva Region.
The main research hypotheses addressed by this study are:
§ An enhanced commuting pattern, stemming from transportation improvements, will lead to greater socio-economic equity.
§ Accessibility enhancement will lead to greater economic efficiency.
The methodological framework chosen to investigate the impacts of transportation improvements on the Israeli space economy is a welfare economic model built from three sub-models: a commuting model, a production model and a general equilibrium model. The commuting model, based on disaggregated multinomial logit framework, deals with the supply side of the labor market. Its main aim is to explain and forecast the impact of transportation improvements on economic equity measures. The production model, based on a production function formulation, deals with the demand side of the labor market. Its main purpose is to explain and forecast the impact of transportation improvements on economic efficiency outcomes. The general equilibrium model re-balances the labor supply and labor demand components of the commuting and production models, when changes are being made in the transportation system. The outputs of the general equilibrium model include wages, employment, productivity, total output and output per worker.
Various policy simulations (e.g. the introduction of rail service in underserved peripheral cities, a “flat” 20% reduction in auto travel time) were carried out to test the two main hypotheses of the research regarding a positive association between decreasing spatial friction and enhanced economic welfare. The simulation results of the general equilibrium model indicate that transportation infrastructure improvements may indeed lead to significant equity benefits, especially in underserved cities in the southern periphery. The introduction of rail service in southern peripheral towns was found to reduce wage disparities between southern towns and core cities by 4%. Results of efficiency related simulations show that output per worker and total factor productivity are expected to rise in peripheral cities by 4%-12% as a result of rail improvements. Reduction in auto travel time was also found to have a significant effect on welfare, although to a lesser degree.