The following doctoral thesis, sponsored by Autostrada del Brennero S.p.A. (an Italian highway concession company in charge of managing toll roads) consists on empirical essays at the crossroad between transport and regional economics. They focus on different aspects that directly involve motorways (i.e, safety, intermodality, and commuting dynamics) and they are aimed at providing further evidences that transport institutions and policy makers could take into account throughout their decision-making processes. The first chapter presents a research article that seeks to determine the impact of an average speed enforcement system in reducing highway accidents. Indeed, at the end of 2005, Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI) and the Italian traffic police progressively deployed along the Italian tolled motorway network an average speed enforcement system, named Safety Tutor, able to determine the average speed of vehicles over a long section to encourage drivers to comply with speed limits and improve safety. To empirically test the extent to which Safety Tutor led to a reduction in both total and fatal accidents on Italian highways during the period of 2001-2017, we carried out a generalized difference-in-differences estimation using a unique panel dataset that exploits the heterogeneous accident data within all tolled motorway sectors in a quasi-experimental setting. To deal with the potential endogeneity of the non-random placement of Safety Tutor sites, we utilized an instrumental variable strategy by using the network of motorway sectors managed by ASPI and its controlled concessionaires from 2005 onwards (i.e., when the technology was available) as an instrument to predict Safety Tutor adoption. We found that a 10% increase in Safety Tutor coverage led to an average reduction in total accidents of 3.9%, whereas there is no evidence of a significant causal effect of Safety Tutor in reducing fatal accidents. The second chapter presents a research article that seeks to investigate the inter-modal competition between motorway and high-speed rail (HSR) services, as the extent to which HSR demand could be the result of a modal shift from motorways is a relevant issue in any cost-benefit analysis of HSR investments. Indeed, the development of HSR has had a notable impact on modal market shares on the routes on which its services have been implemented. To analyse whether the HSR expansion in Italy has led to a modal shift from motorway to HSR, we empirically test i) whether HSR openings adjacent to motorway sectors have reduced the total km travelled by light vehicles on these sectors during the period 2001-2017; and ii) whether this reduction has been persistent or even more evident after the opening of on-track competition between two HSR operators. To do so, we carried out a generalized difference-in-differences estimation, using a unique panel dataset that exploits the heterogeneous traffic data within all tolled motorway sectors in a quasi-experimental setting. Our findings reveal that neither HSR openings nor the opening of on-track competition led to a modal shift from motorway to HSR services, as the two transport modes are non-competing. Conversely, HSR expansion had a slightly positive impact on motorway traffic. The third chapter presents a data article in a “data in brief” format that describes a dataset on municipality-to-municipality commuting patterns in Italy over the 1991, 2001, and 2011 censuses aimed at investigating the role of transport infrastructures and the structural transformation of the economy on worker mobility. At this purpose, a core origin-destination dataset on the number of workers moving between municipalities, or within the same municipality, has been linked with further municipality covariates on jobs location, population, and the distances in meters and journey times in minutes between all municipalities. Even though these data are freely available online, they require some tedious work to organize. Therefore, this data article brings the necessary information together and makes the dataset available on request. The dataset offers applied researchers an alternative source of information to shed new lights on the changing shape of urban systems by analysing i) the impact of infrastructural endowment in providing better job accessibility, or ii) the connection between increasing commuting patterns and the structural transformation of the economy due to the tertiarization process from 1991 to 2011.
Empirical Essays on Transport and Regional Economics: Safety, Intermodality, and Commuting Dynamics / Borsati, Mattia. - (2020 Jun 25), pp. 1-115.
|Titolo:||Empirical Essays on Transport and Regional Economics: Safety, Intermodality, and Commuting Dynamics|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2020-06-25|
|Struttura:||Dipartimento di Economia e Management|
|Corso di dottorato:||Economics and Management (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)|
|Supervisori e coordinatori:||Accetturo, Antonio|
|Tesi in cotutela:||no|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.15168/11572_268170|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||08.1 Tesi di dottorato (Doctoral Thesis)|
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