Do fixed links affect the local labour markets and industries? A case study of three fixed link projects in Norway

The interaction between infrastructure improvement and regional economic growth has been a key question within transport research for decades. The size of these benefits, and if they actually materialize, is still a question for debate. Further knowledge within this field is essential because many countries are in the process of including these additional economic benefits in their cost benefit analyses. There is consensus in the literature that focus should be on ex-post analysis at a firm level for projects that dramatically change accessibility. However, the number of studies following these recommendations is scarce. This paper contributes to fill the gap by analysing indications of potential agglomeration benefits for 19,000 firms affected by three fixed link projects that connect islands to the mainland. The authors compare them to similar areas that do not get a connection and identify changes in the local labour market and industries. Firstly, a difference in difference method was used to calculate changes, and trend shifts within accompanying variables were detected. Secondly, interviews of affected industries were also carried out to test the hypothesis. The analysis shows that (1) there is an increase in the number of commuters between the connected islands and the mainland. (2) There is growth in the total number of employees and (3) in the total number of firms in all connected islands. (4) The newly connected islands seem to attract more firms than before. (5) However, the authors find small changes in firm turnover, suggesting that increased competition offsets the number of new customers a fixed link might provide.


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  • Accession Number: 01642642
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2017 5:14PM