75576 - Regional and Transport Economics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

During the course, students will be introduced to regional and transport economic modelling. In particular, the course will review a number of well-known theoretical frameworks relating to, among others: urban agglomeration, regional economic growth and transportation choice modelling. Starting from this basic theoretical knowledge, the course will focus on applied modelling, showing students how research questions in these fields can be investigated through real-world data. A specific focus, in this regard, will be on the interactions of economic agents in space and on environmental and sustainability issues.

Course contents

This introductory course to regional and transport economics consists of a number of lectures on macro-topics in regional, spatial, urban and transport economics. Each week will be devoted to one topic, which will first be covered in one theoretical lecture and subsequently discussed by the students through the analysis, assisted by the instructor, of research papers.

The macro-topics to be analysed will be selected jointly with the attending students. Suggested topics include:

- Spatial Interaction, Transportation, and Interregional Commodity Flow Models (Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 1)
- Urban Transportation (Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vols 2/3)
- Cities and the Environment (Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 5)
- Change and Persistence in the Economic Status of Neighborhoods and Cities (Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 5)
- Transportation Costs and the Spatial Organization of Economic Activity (Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 5)
- Transport in Spatial Models of Economic Development (A Handbook of Transport Economics)
- Theory of External Costs (A Handbook of Transport Economics)
- External Costs of Transport in Europe (A Handbook of Transport Economics)
- Transport and Energy (A Handbook of Transport Economics)
- Policy Needs and Policy Processes (Introduction to Transport Policy: A Public Policy View)
- Traffic Theory and Transport Planning Foundations (Introduction to Transport Policy: A Public Policy View)
- The Demand for Transport (Principles of Transport Economics)

For the exact programme eventually carried out during the course, please refer to the News section of the instructor's website, or to the teaching material on Virtuale. Possible guest speaker may lead to changes in the planned topics.


Teaching material, consisting of handbook chapters and journal articles, as well as the slides used in class, will be provided by the instructor on Virtuale.

The main reference texts for the course will be the following:

- (various editors) (1987-2015) Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vols 1-5. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

- de Palma, A., R. Lindsey, E. Quinet, R. Vickerman (Eds) (2011) A Handbook of Transport Economics. Edward Elgar.

- Quinet, E., R. Vickerman (2004) Principles of Transport Economics. Edward Elgar.

- Stopher, P., J. Stanley (2009) Introduction to Transport Policy: A Public Policy View. Edward Elgar.

Teaching methods

The course will mix theoretical lectures, analysis of research articles, and instructor-assisted groupworks, mostly based on home readings.

Assessment methods

The final grade is composed as follows:

- 2/3: written exam (taken on EOL in the computer lab);
- 1/3: groupwork activities and participation.

The written exam will be composed of open-answer questions on the topics taught during the course. Students will select two questions out of the three proposed.

Groupwork activities to be successfully evaluated, students have to participate in at least three of them (out of five).

Students who cannot attend class regularly will answer all three open-answer questions in the exam.

In case of online exams (only when decreed as necessary), the exam is identical. In this case, students will need to connect via Zoom with both a computer and a cellphone. In particular, they will share their computer screen, while using microphone and webcam from the cellphone.

During the exam, it is not necessary nor allowed to use any additional material (notes, calculator, paper sheets...).

A positive final mark can only be refused once. After publication of the results, refusal of the grade has to be communicated via email within the day of the subsequent office hours of the instructor.

Exam grades generically follow this distribution (in relation to ECTS grades):

<18 insufficient (F)
18-21 sufficient (E)
22-26 average (D)
27-28 good (C)
29-30 very good (B)
30L excellent (A)

Teaching tools

- Teaching material, provided on Virtuale.

- Regular weekly office hours.

Office hours

See the website of Roberto Patuelli