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The relevance of the concepts of specific and generic goods for the understanding of freight transport demand

Jérôme Massiani (), Romeo Danielis () and Edoardo Marcucci ()

No 802, Working Papers from University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the theoretical and empirical relevance of the distinction between generic goods and specific goods for the understanding of freight transport demand. Specific goods are Taylor-made for a single customer while generic goods are produced irrespective of the final customer who will buy them. Theoretically, the distinction lays on a different relationship with time, based for specific goods on a trade-off between transport duration and cost, and for generic goods on optimal stock. The distinction affects shippers’ valuation of freight transport attributes such as value of time, value of transport time reliability and value of the risk of loss and damages. The theoretical analysis has not so far been able to establish conclusively how shippers’ valuation of freight transport attributes is affected by the type of good produced. Hence, some empirical evidence derived from stated preference data collected among Italian shippers is used to shed some light on the topic.

Keywords: generic good; specific good; freight transport; freight service evaluation; stated preferences. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L91 R49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
Date: 2008, Revised 2008
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http://www.econ.uniurb.it/RePEc/urb/wpaper/WP_08_02.pdf First version, 2008 (application/pdf)

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