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The Exchange Value Embedded in a Transport System

  • Author(s): Xia, Qinglan
  • Xu, Shaofeng
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper shows that a well designed transport system has an embedded exchange value by serving as a market for potential exchange between consumers. Under suitable conditions, one can improve the welfare of consumers in the system simply by allowing some exchange of goods between consumers during transportation without incurring additional transportation cost. We propose an explicit valuation formula to measure this exchange value for a given compatible transport system. This value is always nonnegative and bounded from above. Criteria based on transport structures, preferences and prices are provided to determine the existence of a positive exchange value. Finally, we study a new optimal transport problem with an objective taking into account of both transportation cost and exchange value.

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