Att beräkna det goda samhället: Samhällsekonomiska analyser och gränslandet expertis–politik inom transportområdet

Sven Widmalm
Karolina Isaksson
Göran Sundqvist

The study deals with applied cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and the significant role this method has acquired in transport policy in Sweden since 1998. It is a study of a valuation method at the intersection between neoclassical economics, expertise, Swedish transport policy, long term planning and regional decision makers. Specifically, it focuses on the co-production of expertise and politics and how boundaries are drawn between them in relation to valuation. Departing from a constructionist approach to science and expertise, the study is concerned with how CBA and valuation is depicted in various contexts. The empirical foundation of the study concists of documents dealing with CBA, several kinds of transport policy documents and interview transcripts resulting from interviews with thirteen regional decision makers and one regional official. The analysis shows the significant influence of CBA on transport policy. While this valuation method is depicted as an objective valuation tool in planning, its conceptual foundation tends to be black-boxed outside the domain of expertise. This applies also to the interviewed regional decision makers. However, they delimit the space for CBA as a sufficient decision support. In addition, they construct judgment as the most important basis for decisions on infrastructure. Still, it is argued, the black-boxing of CBA in transport policy affect the political landscape negatively: it entails a risk that important political issues are made more inaccessible for public debate.



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.

The 6st Humanist Conference

The 6th HUMANIST Conference will take place 13-14 June 2018 in the Hague, The Netherlands. The scope of the conference covers a wide range of topics on Human Factors in Transport. Tania Willstrand and Alexander Eriksson will present their research results.



VTI will develop simulators for ambulance staff

VTI has initiated a pilot study for paramedics with the Centre for Teaching & Research in Disaster Medicine and Traumatology and Linköping University. The aim is to give ambulance staff the opportunity to practice critical medical tasks in a moving vehicle in...


Unique electrified road opens in Sweden

The world’s first electrified road recharging the batteries of cars and trucks while driving opened in Sweden. The Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, was at the formal inauguration of the electrified road on April 11, 2018. VTI is one of 22...


Swedish road safety spreads internationally

Sweden is a leading country in terms of road safety, and the research conducted by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) has contributed to increased safety. VTI’s remit includes disseminating research results and keeping up to date...


A greater understanding of cyclists' behaviour

Cyclists are often accused of not following traffic rules and being hooligans on the road. New research shows that there is no support for this perception. "Our observations reveal no such general anarchy" says Sonja Forward, researcher at VTI.


New technology for road surface measurement tested

VTI has tested a new scanning-laser technology for road surface measurement. The tests show the new technology for comprehensive transverse-profile measurement provides dependable values in measuring transverse profile and rut depth.


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.