The Role of Experimental Economics in Freight Transportation Research: Preliminary Results of Experimentation
J Holguin-Veras, E Thorson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US
This paper describes the application of experimental economics techniques to urban goods modeling research. A simulation system consisting of a simplified representation of the New York City metropolitan area was used to capture the behavior of a set of volunteers playing the role of trucking companies which tried to maximize their profits in a context of market competition. The resulting datasets represent an approximation to spatial price equilibrium solutions that provide a wealth of information about the joint behavior of shippers, receivers, and trucking companies in urban areas. These data sets were used to gain insights into the role of network and market structure on a set of measures designed to measure the performance of the trucking companies. Several statistical models relating these performance measures to structural aspects of the urban freight market were developed. These models indicated that the trucking companies? performance is positively related to the amount of freight to be transported and negatively related to the number of centroids in the market and the number of competitors in the market. For two of these models, one for total profit and the other for total number of tour stops, relatively good agreement between the estimated and theoretical values of the model parameters. This agreement suggests that the EE approach is able to capture, at least in part, some of the fundamental dynamics of the urban freight transportation process and that this approach has great potential in this area of research.
Association for European Transport