The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • A. A. Walters
Reference work entry


The obvious definition of ‘transportation’ is the movement of goods or people over space. But conventionally we do not include short trips inside the household or office or warehouse or factory as part of transport; such activities of movement are reckoned to be part of the household chore or industrial process. Only movements outside the home or factory are normally reckoned to require the services of the transport sector, as normally defined. In many definitions of ‘transport’, particularly in Western industrialized countries, non-motorized forms of carriage are excluded. Walking trips or manually hauled freight, bicycle journeys and even animal-powered journeys are usually excluded – except in those cases where walking may play a ubiquitous role, or in cities such as Amsterdam and Cambridge, where bicycles are a common form of transit. In third world countries, however, such manual or animal-powered operations still play a significant, perhaps a major role in the sector. Even in the mid-1980s it is very likely that, considering only passenger trips of over one kilometre in length, the vast majority in the third world are walked (World Bank 1985).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Caves, D., L. Christensen, and J. Swanson. 1981, December. Productivity, growth, scale economies and capacity utilization in US railroads, 1955–1974, American Economic Review 71(5): 994–1002.Google Scholar
  2. Friedlander, A.F. 1981. Freight transport regulation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Hotelling, H. 1938. The general welfare in relation to problems of taxation and of railway and utility rates. Econometrica 6(July): 242–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Keeler, T.E. 1983. Railroads, freight and public policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  5. Lardner, D. 1850. Railway economy: A treatise on the new art of transport. New York: Harper & Bros (Reprinted, New York: A.M. Kelley, 1968).Google Scholar
  6. Meyer, J., M.J. Peck, J. Stenason, and C. Zwick. 1959. The economics of competition in the transportation industries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Walker, G. 1948. Road and rail. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  8. Walters, A.A. 1968. The economics of road user charges. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  9. Walters, A.A. 1978. Airports – An economic survey. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy 12(May): 125–160.Google Scholar
  10. Winston, C. 1985. Conceptual developments in the economics of transportation: an interpretive survey. Journal of Economic Literature 23(March): 57–94.Google Scholar
  11. Wohl, M., and C. Hendrickson. 1984. Transportation investment and pricing principles: An introduction for engineers, planners and economists. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  12. World Bank. 1985. Urban transport sector policy paper. Washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Walters
    • 1
  1. 1.