Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC

The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Policies for Reducing GHG Emissions in the Freight Sector

Project Number


Project Summary


Funding Source(s) and
Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)

Project Status

In progress



Topic Area

Sustainable Urban Freight

P.I. Name & Address

Director, Global Master of Public Policy and Director, USC-Price Environmental Initiative, Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 214
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States


Professor, Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; USC Viterbi School of Engineering
University of Southern California
3715 McClintock Ave.
Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) 206A
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0193
United States
Professor; Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Technology; Director, METRANS , Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 216
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States


Funding Source(s) and
Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)



Total Project Cost


Agency ID or Contract Number

No sub-award number yet

Start and End Dates

1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

Brief Description of
Research Project

We propose to develop a multi-market analytical and simulation model to evaluate the costeffectiveness of alternative public policies that stimulate a faster adoption of cleaner technologies to reduce GHG emissions in the freight sector. Traditionally, the evaluation of the potential of alternative technologies for climate mitigation starts with simple lifecycle analysis (LCA) of the GHG emissions resulting from various technologies, including all phases of its production and use. However, it is becoming better understood that, if public policies that support the same technology result in different multi-market adjustments, and therefore GHG emissions impacts, per unit of the technology added to the economy, technology-based LCA metrics may result in estimates of emissions savings that are misleading (Bento and Klotz, 2014). Our proposed multi-market model overcomes these limitations by simultaneously considering the behavior of consumers, producers of final goods (including goods that require delivery and trucking costs), the freight sector, and the regulator/government that affects freight decisions through a variety of public policies. The multi-market nature of the model allows for capturing economy-wide GHG emissions that are generated whenever any of the agents in the model, directly or indirectly, adjusts their behavior in response to policies introduced in the freight sector that aimed to reduce GHG emissions in that sector. 

Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)


Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated)


Web Links, Reports, Project website