Opendata, web and dolomites


Optimal Transport Networks in Spatial Equilibrium

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "OPTNETSPACE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.

Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREI) 

Organization address
address: RAMON TRIAS FARGAS 25/27
postcode: 8005

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Total cost 887˙500 €
 EC max contribution 887˙500 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-01-01   to  2023-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREI) ES (BARCELONA) coordinator 887˙500.00


 Project objective

Every year, the world economy invests a large amount of resources to improve or develop transport infrastructure. How should these investments be allocated to maximize social welfare? In this proposal, I propose to develop and apply new methods to study optimal transport networks in general-equilibrium models of international trade, urban economics and economic geography. The methodology will build on recent work (Fajgelbaum and Schaal, 2017), in which my coauthor and I studied the network design problem in a general neoclassical trade framework.

In the first project, I develop a new framework to analyze optimal infrastructure investment in an urban setting. The model features people commuting between residential areas and business districts as well as a choice over the mode of transportation. We plan to evaluate the framework to historical data about specific cities.

In the second project, I propose and implement an new algorithm to compute optimal transport networks in the presence of increasing returns to transport, a likely prominent feature of real-world networks. The algorithm applies a branch-and-bound method in a series of geometric programming relaxations of the problem.

In the third project, I study the dynamic evolution of actual transport networks using satellite data from the US, India and Mexico. In the spirit of Hsieh and Klenow (2007), I use the model to measure distortions in the placement of roads between rich and poor countries.

In the fourth project, I study the inefficiencies and welfare losses associated with political economy frictions among governments and planning agencies. I use the model to identify inefficiencies and relate them to measures of institutions and political outcomes.

In the final project, I propose a new explanation behind the Zipf’s law distribution of city sizes. I show that Zipf’s law may result from particular topological properties of optimal transport networks that allocate resources efficiently in space.

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The information about "OPTNETSPACE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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