Calculating the economic impact that the use of public funds has on sea ports

A number of recently published studies have calculated the economic effects of government investment in ports or of other transport measures. The findings varied considerably, which raised the question of if and how the various calculations are interrelated, and how port projects ‘score’ in comparison to other infrastructure projects. The KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis provides answers to these questions in this report, which is based on a literature analysis. 

The key conclusion is that, owing to differences in research methods and how sectors are defined, the various studies cannot be directly compared to one another. Only the social cost benefit analyses (SCBAs) that were conducted lend themselves to comparison. It appears that investments in port projects more frequently receive positive scores than the average infrastructure project, in scenarios with high economic growth. In low economic growth scenarios, port projects score slightly below that of the average infrastructure project.