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The Weakest Link: A Model of the Decline of Surface Transportation Networks

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Document pages: 39 pages

Abstract: This study explores the economic mechanisms behind the decline of a surface transportation network, based on the assumption that the decline phase is a spontaneous process driven by decentralized decisions of individual travelers and privatized links. A simulation model is developed with a degeneration process by which the weakest link is removed iteratively from the network. Experiments reveal how the economic efficiency of a network evolves during the degeneration process and suggest an optimal degenerated network could be derived during the decline phase in terms of maximizing total social welfare.

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