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The Economics and Regulation of the Freight Rail Industry, Second Annual Research Colloquium

Friday, June 10, 2016 -
8:00am to 5:15pm
Rafik B. Hariri Building, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Washington, DC


The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 largely but not completely deregulated the U.S. freight rail industry. More than thirty years of hindsight affords a rich opportunity for fresh economic analysis of both the economics and the regulation of the railroad industry.

On Friday, June 10, the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy hosted the Second Annual Research Colloquium on the Economics and Regulation of the Freight Rail Industry. The Colloquium was launched at the Center in June 2015 to promote new economic research and extend understanding of the freight rail industry.  The Colloquium assembles academics, rail industry practitioners and specialists, industry leaders, government officials, and policymakers and fosters open and well-informed discussion around key economic and policy issues of the freight rail industry.

The 2016 Colloquium featured keynote remarks by the Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III, Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board.

You can also download our Policy Event Summary with colloquium handouts and updating links to presentation information (slides, papers, video) as it becomes available.


The Economics and Regulation of the Freight Rail Industry

Second Annual Research Colloquium

Welcome and Introduction
     John Mayo, Georgetown University
“The Role of Sunk Costs in the Freight Rail Industry”
     Mark L. Burton, University of Tennessee
Robert Gallamore, The Gallamore Group
“General Equilibrium, Spatial Linkages and the Evaluation
of Cost-Reducing Transportation Investment”

     Ferdinando Monte, Georgetown University


“The Strange Career of Independent Voting Trusts in
U.S. Rail Mergers”

     Russell Pittman, U.S. Department of Justice
“The Political Economy of Railroad Costing"
     William Huneke, Surface Transportation Board
“The Evolution of Contracting: Evidence from the
Deregulated Freight Rail Industry”

     Jeffrey Macher, Georgetown University
     John Mayo, Georgetown University
“The Ties That Bind: Railroad Gauge Standards and
Internal Trade in the Nineteenth Century U.S.”

     Daniel P. Gross, Harvard Business School
“Shipper Investment in Railroad Loading/Unloading
Facilities, 2004-2013”

(Paper • Slides • Video)
     Kenneth D. Boyer, Michigan State University
 Introduction to the CBPP Rail Research Compendium
     Amanda Delp, Georgetown University

    Colloquium Keynote: The Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III

    Chairman, Surface Transportation Board (Video)

“Simulating contestability in freight transportation –
The Canadian grain handling and transportation system”
(Paper • Video)
     James Nolan
, University of Saskatchewan
“Pricing Freight Transport to Account for External Costs”
     David Austin, U.S. Congressional Budget Office
“The Derived Demand for Rail and Truck”
     Gerard McCullough, University of Minnesota
“Allocative Efficiency in the U.S. Railroad Industry:
Changing Work-Rules and Managerial Flexibility”

     Azrina Abdullah Al-Hadi,
     Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (not present)

     James Peoples, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Closing Remarks
     John Mayo, Georgetown University