Futuribles Journal n° 256

Économie, emploi - Territoires, réseaux

Rationalité économique et bruit des transports

People are being exposed to, and are more aware of, rising levels of transport noise, which (despite higher standards and the progress made by the motor manufacturers) is likely to get even worse as road traffic, in particular, increases.
Having made this worrying observation, the authors look at how this nuisance can be assessed in monetary terms and how much we are prepared to pay in order to overcome this decline in the quality of our environment.
They demonstrate that various methods of evaluation exist (both "hedonistic" and "contingent" analyses), and their results are remarkably similar and reliable. However, they stress that little notice is taken of these results in decision-making processes, partly because the views of special interest groups often carry more weight than more objective criteria.
Finally, the authors offer suggestions for possible action, drawing on the experience of other countries. They examine how better use might be made of such studies in decision-making, which should also take account of the "public good", whose definition is often a source of confusion.

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