"IASON" - Integrated Appraisal of Spatial Economic and Network Effects of Transport Investments and Policies

Bewertung raumwirtschaftlicher Effekte von Verkehrsinvestitionen und Verkehrspolitiken


Thematic Programme "Promoting Competitive and Sustainable Growth"
Key Action 2 "Sustainable Mobility and Intermodality"
Objective 2.1:"Socio-Economic Scenarios for Mobility of People and Goods"

Time Schedule: April 2001 - December 2003 

Applicant: DG Tren - Directorate General for Energy and Transport (European Commission)

Homepage of IASON

Final Report 

Project Management

The IASON Project involves 7 partners, 5 associated partners and 3 subcontractors who will need to co-operate closely together. The project co-ordination is carried out by TNO.

The Consortium

The consortium is built up around key participants of these studies in the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Hungary and Finland. Additional panel members with a broad theoretical and practical knowledge will participate from Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Poland and Japan.


General Information

Today, several processes are going on in Europe that have far-reaching implications on the spatial organisation of human society in Europe in general and on spatial interaction, that is on interregional flows of commodities and people, on financial flows and on the exchange of knowledge and information in particular. Hence, the way how these interactions develop, how they are influenced by regional, national and international political and administrative structures, and whether infrastructure capacities meet the growing demands for spatial interaction is of vital importance for the spatial dynamics of the European economy. Infrastructure projects' assessment is one essential element of the continuous improvement of public policy's efficiency, because by giving insight in to the positive and negative effects of alternative policies and investments, it can assist in evaluating and prioritising alternatives, before they are implemented.

In recent years there have already been considerable efforts by national governments to develop infrastructure projects' assessment methods that aim at a comprehensive and justifiable estimation of transport policy impacts. Guidelines and the supporting tools for appraisal exist in some member states at a national level. The main progress of these studies in the economic appraisal of transport project impacts concern the dimension of interregional exchanges and its influence on transport demand. However, for impact assessments related to EU transport policy, these methods are too narrow and too diverse; in other words: a common, unified framework is lacking. This problem is worsened by gaps in the methodological and empirical knowledge of the relationship between transport policy and emergence of spatial structures and the lack of understanding of specific theoretical issues related to the valuation of transport policy impacts which become particularly relevant at the EU level.

The project was finished with the presentation of the final results at a workshop at DG TREN on the 20th of February 2004.


Contribution of the Institute for Regional Research (IfR), Kiel University (CAU)

Project leader:

Prof. Dr. Johannes Bröcker

Project staff:

Nils Schneekloth, Roland Meyer (project research)

The Institute for Regional Research as a part of the IASON consortium aims at building upon previous CGE (Computable General Equilibrium) modelling experiences through a combination of previously built national models into a common spatial general equilibrium model for Europe (CGEurope). The focus of the CGEurope model is on evaluating welfare effects in a comparative static framework fulfilling all equilibrium conditions. Transport policies will be appraised by comparing cases "with" and "without", leaving everything else unchanged. Rather than predicting long-term locational change, CGEurope studies welfare gains and losses in the sense of CBA (cost-benefit-analysis), given the spatial distribution of factors of production. The transport system enters the model due to the fact, that interregional trade in the model is costly, with cost depending on the transport network as well as on international trade impediments, as far as cross-border trade is concerned. Transport policies are modelled thus by varying these transport costs. As a response, prices as well as quantities of goods and services react on the cost changes. The model incorporates economies of scale and product diversity, following recent advances in the theory of economic geography. Transport cost changes result in output, income and welfare changes measured by monetary equivalents of household utility changes. This means that the impact of transport policies is assessed by a measure which is perfectly in line with the theoretical concepts in CBA. The advantage over standard project assessments is, however, that it will be possible to quantify the distribution of welfare gains and losses, and that general equilibrium repercussions are consistently taken into consideration, including effects generated by economies of scale and agglomeration. This avoids the danger of omitting indirect effects as well as of double-counting.



Johannes Bröcker, Frank Richter
Economic Integration and Transport Infrastructure in the Baltic Sea Area. In J. Bröcker and H. Herrmann, editors, Spatial Change and Interregional Flows in the Integrating Europe, pages 49-59, Physica, Heidelberg, 2001. 

Johannes Bröcker
Spatial effects of Transeuropean Networks: Preliminary Results from a Spatial Computable General Equilibrium Analysis, Diskussionsbeiträge aus dem Institut für Wirtschaft und Verkehr der Technischen Universität Dresden, Nr.4/98, Dresden, 1998