Putting Consumer Surplus for Transport in Lay Terms

Hey Blogosphere friends.  Its been a while.

I’m doing some knowledge translation work for Mobilizing Justice, the research program I work for… And to that end am experimenting with plain-language explanations for what Consumer Surplus (aka the log sum) actually is.

Here is a first stab.  Does this do it justice? Is it accurate but also clear?

“Transportation planners use econometric models to predict how residents travel, where they choose to travel to, and the locations they choose live in.  Each of these models uses survey data of these choices to estimate the value that different types of people place on different attributes of transportation and housing.  For example, the model may identify that some travelers, such a women, are more likely to prefer commute modes that offer more safety. These profiles of what different groups of travellers prefer, known to researchers as utility functions, can be used to estimate how those groups of travelers are likely to perceive the value of new infrastructure, and thus whether the new infrastructure will benefit those travellers.  This makes it a comprehensive and rigourous way of calculating the equity of benefits from new transport investments.”

Would appreciate feedback, thanks!


Published by mattdpalm

Doctoral Student UC Davis USDOT Graduate Eisenhower Fellow 2014-2015

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