Humphreys, Richard Martin

Transport Global Practice
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Transport economics
Transport Global Practice
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
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 - 4 of 4
  • 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
    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.
  • Publication
    Rail Transport and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) Mchomvu, Yonas Eliesikia; Iimi, Atsushi; Humphreys, Richard Martin
    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.
  • Publication
    Crop Choice and Infrastructure Accessibility in Tanzania: Subsistence Crops or Export Crops?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Iimi, Atsushi; Humphreys, Richard Martin
    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.
  • Publication
    Modal Choice between Rail and Road Transportation: Evidence from Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) Mchomvu, Yonas Eliesikia; Iimi, Atsushi; Humphreys, Richard Martin
    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.