Person:
Humphreys, Richard Martin

Transport Global Practice
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Transport economics
Degrees
ORCID
Departments
Transport Global Practice
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated January 31, 2023
Biography
Richard Martin Humphreys is a Lead Transport Economist in the South Asia Unit of the Transport Global Practice of the World Bank. He has been working in the transport sector for nearly 30 years in a number of different countries/regions, including inter alia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Russia, South Asia, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, the Baltic States, and the Western Balkan countries, and Eastern and Southern Africa. His experience covers roads, railways, inland waterways and maritime ports, public private partnerships, and trade and transport facilitation, in post-conflict, fragile, and low- and middle-income countries. Richard has a first degree in Economics, and a Master’s Degree and PhD in Transport Economics.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Crop Choice and Infrastructure Accessibility in Tanzania: Subsistence Crops or Export Crops?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Iimi, Atsushi ; Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Melibaeva, Sevara
    Africa has great potential for agriculture. Although international commodity prices have been buoyant, Africa’s supply response seems to be weak. A variety of constraints may exist. Using the case of Tanzania, the paper examines the impact of market connectivity, domestic and international, on farmers’ crop choices. It is shown that the international market connectivity, measured by transport costs to the maritime port, is important for farmers to choose export crops, such as cotton and tobacco. Internal connectivity to the domestic market is also found to be important for growing food crops, such as maize and rice. Among other inputs, access to irrigation and improved seed availability are also important factors in the crop choices of farmers. The size of land area is one constraint to promote the crop shift. The paper also reports the finding that farmers are not using market prices effectively in their choice of crop, even after the endogeneity of local prices is taken into account.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Firms’ Locational Choice and Infrastructure Development in Tanzania: Instrumental Variable Spatial Autoregressive Model
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Iimi, Atsushi ; Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Melibaeva, Sevara
    Agglomeration economies are among the most important factors in increasing firm productivity. However, there is little evidence supportive of this in Africa. Using the firm registry database in Tanzania, this paper examines a new application of the logit approach with two empirical issues taken into account: spatial autocorrelation and endogeneity of infrastructure placement. The paper finds significant agglomeration economies. It is also found that firms are more likely to be located where local connectivity and access to markets are good. The paper finds that dealing with infrastructure endogeneity and spatial autocorrelation in the empirical model is important. According to the exogeneity test, infrastructure variables are likely endogenous. The spatial autoregressive term is significant. As expected, therefore, there are positive externalities of firm location choice around the neighboring areas.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    COVID-19 and the Maritime and Logistics Sector in Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-07-01) Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Dumitrescu, Anca ; Biju, Ninan Oommen ; Lam, Yin Yin
    The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has taken a toll on human life and brought major disruption to economic activity across the world, precipitating an unprecedented global health and economic crisis. Although it is too early for a full assessment of the impact of the pandemic in Africa, it is clear that COVID-19 (coronavirus) has already brought severe hardship, especially to the landlocked and least developed countries, and poor and vulnerable communities. Vulnerable sectors (e.g. tourism, oil and gas industry, maritime, air and road transport, freight forwarding, logistics, and wholesale and retail sectors) have been hard hit and some will not recover. The demand for, and price of many commodities has declined sharply, increasing the vulnerability of many commodity-dependent African countries. The forecast challenges include food insecurity, lack of medical supplies, loss of income and livelihood, difficulties in applying sanitary and physical distancing measures, a looming debt crisis, as well as related political and security risks. The World Bank projected that economic growth will decline to between -2.1 and -5.1 percent in 2020 from 2.4 percent in 2019, leading to the first African recession in 25 years. This short note summarizes the current evidence of the impact on the maritime and logistics sector in African countries and defines a three pillared response for countries to both mitigate the impact of the pandemic and increase the resilience of the sectors going forward. It ends by discussing potential areas of co-operation with the World Bank to those ends.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Decarbonizing the Freight and Logistics Sector
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11) Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Dumitrescu, Anca
    Freight and logistics are essential for economic and social development and are projected to grow significantly, but prevailing practices are unsustainable. This discussion paper explores the initiatives being adopted, implemented, and proposed in each of the three subsectors in a logistical chain, the maritime subsector, the interurban freight and logistics subsector, and the urban freight and logistics subsector. The paper describes the initiatives, and more importantly, how they may need to be adapted and financed to achieve the decarbonization of the freight and logistics sector, while meeting the needs, opportunities, constraints, and the broader climate change-related and development challenges of least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS). This report provides an overview of the main technical issues, commencing with the maritime subsector, then the interurban subsector, and finally the urban subsector. The report will highlight some of the interventions needed, and where possible the required policy actions and financial implications, with the final section proposing some final thoughts about the way forward and summarizing key recommendations.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Modal Choice between Rail and Road Transportation: Evidence from Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) Iimi, Atsushi ; Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Mchomvu, Yonas Eliesikia
    Rail transport generally has the advantage for large-volume long-haul freight operations. The literature generally shows that shipping distance, costs, and reliability are among the most important determinants of people's modal choice among road, rail, air, and coastal shipping transport. However, there is little evidence in Africa, although the region historically possesses significant rail assets. Currently, Africa's rail transport faces intense competition against truck transportation. With firm-level data, this paper examines shippers' modal choice in Tanzania. The traditional multinomial logit and McFadden’s choice models were estimated. The paper shows that rail prices and shipping distance and volume are important determinants of firms' mode choice. The analysis also finds that the firms' modal choice depends on the type of transactions. Rail transport is more often used for international trading purposes. Exporters and importers are key customers for restoring rail freight operations. Rail operating speed does not seem to have an unambiguous effect on firms' modal selection.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Rail Transport and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) Iimi, Atsushi ; Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Mchomvu, Yonas Eliesikia
    Railway transport generally has the advantage for large-volume, long-haul freight operations. Africa possesses significant railway assets. However, many rail lines are currently not operational because of the lack of maintenance. The paper recasts light on the impact of rail transportation on firm productivity, using micro data collected in Tanzania. To avoid the endogeneity problem, the instrumental variable technique is used to estimate the impact of rail transport. The paper shows that the overall impact of rail use on firm costs is significant despite that the rail unit rates are set lower when the shipping distance is longer. Rail transport is a cost-effective option for firms. However, the study finds that firms' inventory is costly. This is a disadvantage of using rail transport. Rail operations are unreliable, adding more inventory costs to firms. The implied elasticity of demand for transport services is estimated at -1.01 to -0.52, relatively high in absolute terms. This indicates the rail users' sensitivity to prices as well as severity of modal competition against truck transportation. The study also finds that firm location matters to the decision to use rail services. Proximity to rail infrastructure is important for firms to take advantage of rail benefits.