The VTI National Transport Library Catalogue

Rationality and decision processes Larsson, Sven-Olov

By: Larsson, Sven-OlovPublication details: Transport systems: Organization and planning, 2000; 3rd KFB research conference, June 13-14, 2000. Paper, Description: 18 sSubject(s): Sweden | Conference | Decision process | Policy | Planning | Investment | Transport network | Characteristics | Theory | 10 | 02Online resources: Publikation/Publication Bibl.nr: VTI 2001.1209Location: Abstract: Rationality is a central concept in economic analysis. It is also a widely acclaimed requirement in Swedish public policy such as transport policy. This paper deals with the problem of how economic rationality can be realised in decision processes concerning infrastructure planning. The rationality conditions in economic choice theory are very strict: perfect information, complete, transitive, continuos, and strictly convex preferences. The choice procedure is built on optimising behaviour. Public decision processes concerning infrastructure are often dealing with big projects covering large areas, with extensive environmental impacts, taking long time. Decisions are taken at various levels from the forming of transport policy to implementing road and railway building projects. Many persons and institutions are involved, which makes the decisions taken a result of the interaction between many formal as well as informal actors in the decision processes. Starting with the conditions of rational, individual decision making the analysis follows trails laid down by previous researchers concerning imperfect rationality, into the realities of some cases of Swedish infrastructure planning. On this way we can find out some of the necessary conditions for reaching outcomes of decision processes claiming to be "rational". A checklist for further studies is presented, and examples from Swedish road and railway planning are given.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
Holdings: VTI 2001.1209

Rationality is a central concept in economic analysis. It is also a widely acclaimed requirement in Swedish public policy such as transport policy. This paper deals with the problem of how economic rationality can be realised in decision processes concerning infrastructure planning. The rationality conditions in economic choice theory are very strict: perfect information, complete, transitive, continuos, and strictly convex preferences. The choice procedure is built on optimising behaviour. Public decision processes concerning infrastructure are often dealing with big projects covering large areas, with extensive environmental impacts, taking long time. Decisions are taken at various levels from the forming of transport policy to implementing road and railway building projects. Many persons and institutions are involved, which makes the decisions taken a result of the interaction between many formal as well as informal actors in the decision processes. Starting with the conditions of rational, individual decision making the analysis follows trails laid down by previous researchers concerning imperfect rationality, into the realities of some cases of Swedish infrastructure planning. On this way we can find out some of the necessary conditions for reaching outcomes of decision processes claiming to be "rational". A checklist for further studies is presented, and examples from Swedish road and railway planning are given.

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