Determinants of Transportation Costs for Coal: An Analysis of Unit Train Rates in 1990.
Jennifer L. Wilborn
Dr. Terry L. Olson, Faculty Mentor
In this research, I use econometric analysis to investigate the determinants of the unit train rate for coal. The unit train, developed in response to the constant, high demand from electric utilities for coal, is the primary mode of transport for the fuel, accounting for approximately 95 percent of coal shipments in 2009. With a transportation cost model adapted from the research of Martin B. Zimmerman, I attempt to estimate how my selected variables influenced the determination of the unit train rate, to what degree railroads were successful as price discriminators, and how these two aspects of coal transportation costs differed between the east and the west.
Keywords: Coal, Railroads, Transportation Costs, Transportation Economics, Price Discrimination
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: MG 2090