Are CBA Results Robust?: Experiences from the Swedish Transport Investment Plan, 2010-2021

Mattias Lundberg
Jonas Eliasson

The use of Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as a tool for choosing between suggested transport investments is often questioned. Many argue that the results completely rest on what assumptions are made. This paper studies whether this is true for two sorts of assumptions; climate policy assumptions and benefit valuations. First, we study how much the CBA ranking is affected by varying the relative weight of different types of benefits. The valuation of travel time, traffic safety, emissions and freight benefits are systematically varied for 480 suggested road and rail investments in the latest Swedish transport investment plan. The conclusion is that the ranking is surprisingly stable. The balance between road and rail is also robust. Second, we vary the relative weights within a benefit type by differentiating the value of time. This exercise has an even smaller effect on ranking. Last, scenario assumptions relating to future climate policy options are altered. Even rather drastic assumptions, such as a doubled oil price, change the benefits with only a few percent and the rankings are hardly affected at all. The exception seems to be car ownership. In conclusion, our study suggests that decision makers can feel secure that following the CBA methodology will lead to sound investments being prioritized. The top-ranked investments stay more or less the same in all sensitivity tests.



Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) workshop in Stockholm

An open seminar and workshop in Stockholm will be held on 25-26 April 2018. The workshop deals with the use of CBA as a basis for decision-making in the public sector. The workshop is organized by, among others, Professor Jan-Eric Nilsson, VTI.



Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

VTI’s Senior Research Leader Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 for his work on research into tyres and road surface.


Steps need to be taken to increase traffic safety of automated cars

Several steps are necessary to ensure that automated and connected cars will lead to increased traffic safety – everything from ensuring that technology takes vulnerable road users into account, to new forms of driver training. This has emerged in a position...


FALCON examines challenges in the transport sector

VTI is one of several important partners in the major FALCON project*, whose purpose is to create knowledge and insight regarding the transport sector. In an initial subproject, VTI has produced a manual on transport, logistics and multimodality.


VTI joined research cooperation in China

In December 2017 VTI became a member of China-Sweden Research Centre for Traffic Safety (CTS).


Swedish German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems

The project “Swedish-German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems” (CollERS) has now officially started. The goal of the project is to increase the common knowledge around Electric Road Systems by cooperation between Germany and Sweden and to...


Electric Road Systems Conference 2018

After a successful first conference in June 2017, the Swedish research and innovation platform for electric roads is arranging the second dedicated International Conference on Electric Road Systems (ERS) June 13th and 14th 2018.