Railroads and Land Grant Policy - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124911802, 9781483257990

Railroads and Land Grant Policy

1st Edition

A Study in Government Intervention

Authors: Lloyd J. Mercer
eBook ISBN: 9781483257990
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1982
Page Count: 284
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Railroads and Land Grant Policy: A Study in Government Intervention attempts to replace a major part of the railroad land grant legend (according to which the granting of federal and state land to private railroad firms benefitted these firms more than it contributed to society as a whole) with some real numbers and analysis. An attempt is made to put the income and wealth distribution impact of the railroad land grants in perspective, but thorough analysis of this issue is not undertaken. The primary question this study does try to illuminate is that of the effect of the railroad land grants on economic efficiency. This emphasis was chosen because it seems clear that improvement of economic efficiency was the major goal that Congress and various state legislatures sought to attain, and thus the examination of economic efficiency questions is fundamental to evaluation of railroad land grant policy. This study will not completely replace the railroad land grant legend (because much is not covered here), but it does represent a considerable diminution of that legend.

Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Preface

  1. Introduction Land Grants: Government Intervention in the Market Subsidy, Profitability, and Railroad Investment The Railroad Land Grants Historiography of the Land Grants Objectives of the Study
  2. Economic Issues in Railroad Land Grant Policy Building Ahead of Demand External Economies from Railroad Operation Railroads as Natural Monopolies Capital Market Imperfections Hypotheses of the Land Grant Advocates Railroad Land Grants and the Distribution of Income Summary
  3. Building the Land Grant Railroads The Central Pacific System The Union Pacific System The Texas and Pacific System The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe System The Northern Pacific System The Great Northern Railway System The Canadian Pacific System Summary
  4. Private Rates of Return Subsidy Unnecessary Subsidy Necessary but Inadequate Subsidy Necessary and Adequate Summary
  5. Social Rates of Return Intraregional Benefits Interregional Benefits Passenger Benefits The Social Returns Stream Tests of Hypotheses B1 and B2
  6. Building Ahead of Demand Test of the Fishlow Hypothesis for the Land Grant Systems Estimation of Investment Demand Capacity Utilization The Overbuilding Hypothesis Building Ahead of Demand 7 Summary Economic Rationality of Land Grant Policy Building Ahead of Demand Evaluation of the Railroad Land Grants Appendix A: Investment Expenditure Appendix B: Capital Earnings Appendix C: Net Land Grant Revenue Appendix D: Zero Rent Perimeters Appendix E: Intraregional Benefits Appendix F: Interregional Benefits Appendix G: Passenger Benefits Appendix H: Loan Subsidy Cost Appendix I: Capital Stocks Index


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© Academic Press 1982
Academic Press
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About the Author

Lloyd J. Mercer

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