BICEPS/SSE Riga Research Seminar: Trade and the Spatial Distribution of Transport Infrastructure

We kindly invite you to the BICEPS/SSE Riga research seminar! It will take place on Thursday, May 2 at 17.00 in room 611 with the presentation:

“Trade and the Spatial Distribution of Transport Infrastructure” by Alexander Tarasov (Higher School of Economics).


The distribution of transport infrastructure across space is the outcome of deliberate government planning that reflects a desire to unlock the welfare gains from regional economic integration. Yet, despite being one of the oldest government activities, the economic forces shaping the endogenous emergence of infrastructure have not been rigorously studied. This paper provides a stylized analytical framework of open economies in which planners decide non-cooperatively on transport infrastructure investments across continuous space. Allowing for intra- and international trade, the resulting equilibrium investment schedule features underinvestment that turns out particularly severe in border regions and that is amplified by the presence of discrete border costs. In European data, the mechanism explains about a fifth of the border effect identified in a conventionally specified gravity regression. The framework sheds light on the welfare costs of second best investment schedules or on the effects of intercontinental trade.


No prior registration for the seminar is necessary. For any questions about the seminar, or if you have a colleague that would like to be added to the distribution list, please write to Nicolas Gavoille.