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Title: Essays in transport economics and policy : policy evaluations in the aviation and maritime sectors
Authors: Wang, Kun
Degree: M.Phil.
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Major policies have been implemented and proposed in the aviation and maritime sectors in recent years, with various aims such as to improve financial performance of firms, to reduce pollution and to promote regional development and social welfare. However, many of these policies have not been sufficiently studied. For some of the policies adopted, their full effects, and mechanisms leading to such effects remained unclear. For some of the policies being proposed, there is also a need to quantify and benchmark the effects of alternative policy options, ex ante. This thesis examines three important issues in the transport industry in three essays of policy evaluation and economic analysis. Essay one empirically examines Chinese airlines' competitiveness and benchmarks with other leading airlines in the world. It is found that Chinese airlines' efficiencies have improved during the last decade, but their productivities still lag behind that of industry leaders. Chinese airlines' profitability is attributable to high yields and low input prices in the domestic market. The results implied that Chinese government's policy reforms are steps in the right direction, but the deregulation efforts have been incomplete and inadequate. The Chinese government should embrace the global trend of deregulation and liberalization more enthusiastically, and allow more competition in both the airline markets and inputs supply market. In addition, airline input market in China shall be further liberalized so as to lower Chinese airline's unit cost and to enhance its existing cost advantage against foreign carriers.
Essay two theoretically analyzes and benchmarks two different Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) restricting greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from the international shipping industry, namely an open ETS and a maritime only ETS (METS). The analysis quantifies the differential impacts of ETS on container shipping and dry bulk shipping sectors. It is found that an ETS, whether open or maritime only, will decrease ship speed, carrier outputs and fuel consumption for both the container and bulk sectors. The increased ship operation cost will deteriorate this output reduction under ETS. To overcome this negative impact, carriers have more incentive to improve fuel efficiency through technical and operational measures. In addition, the degree of competition in a sector will have spill-over effects to the other sector under the METS. This study provides a framework to identify the moderating effects of market structure and firm competition on emission reduction schemes, and emphasizes the importance of understanding the differential impacts of ETS schemes brought to individual sectors within an industry. Essay three uses the South China region as a case to examine factors and conditions affecting regional port governance. A game theory model is developed and calibrated for Shenzhen and Hong Kong ports in Pearl River Delta (PRD). In particular, it is found that the likelihood to form a port alliance is dependent on many factors, such as service differentiation among ports, relative cost efficiency and market potential of neighboring ports. Therefore, both the Hong Kong government and the China central government should carefully design long-run ports development strategy taking into account of these factors that affect port governance.
Subjects: Airlines
Aeronautics and state
Shipping -- Government policy
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: 109 leaves : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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