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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Port impact studies : comparison and evaluation of existing methods Kaufmann, Gabriele


Since the early 1960's, a great number of port impact studies have been conducted. Little assessment has been done of the methodologies used to conduct the port impact studies. This thesis compares and evaluates the main aspects of the methodology of port impact studies using two criteria: 1) the informational value of the results obtained with different methods; 2) comparison of relative costs for the implementation of the different methods. The thesis reviews twenty port impact studies to determine the main methodological approaches to port impact analysis. The thesis then discusses four main aspects of the methodology used in the individual port impact studies. The first of these aspects is the determination of the size and regional and personal incidence of transportation cost savings occurring in the regional economy (due to the utilization of low cost water-transportation services). An assessment follows of the measures used in the individual port impact studies to measure primary and secondary port impacts. The study then discusses the determination of the primary impact. The last aspect of the methodology discussed is the determination of the multiplier effect initiated by the primary port impact activities (i.e. secondary port impact). The conclusion of this thesis evaluates the use of information obtained in a port impact study for the establishment of a port policy. The studies reviewed were conducted between 1961 and 1976. Eighteen of the twenty port impact studies were carried out in the United States, one in Canada, and one in West Germany. Nineteen of the port impact studies had similar methodologies, while one of them differed significantly. This thesis isolates both theoretical and practical problems in the conduct of a port impact study. The thesis identifies two prime areas of research to improve the informational value of port impact studies. They are: 1) opportunity cost; and 2) external economies.

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