Transportation Rates and Their Regulation. Harry Gunnison

J. Maurice Clark
1917 Journal of Political Economy  
Professor Brown has here presented an extremely compact and readable theoretical study, by far the chief space and emphasis being devoted to freight discriminations. In the main he follows the generally accepted views, with some contributions of his own. These include an analysis of " competition of markets " into " competition of directions " and "competition of locations." Both must apparently be combined to produce the type of case (treated by the author under "competition of directions") in
more » ... of directions") in which a really strong competitive force appears to be acting. The author also erects into a general principle the method, used by the Interstate Commerce Commission in the transcontinental cases, of permitting short-haul rates to exceed long-haul rates by not more than a fixed percentage. Nearly one hundred pages are devoted to questions of freight discrimination, which are excellently treated, twenty-five pages to outlining the development of rate regulation in this country-this overtaxes even Professor Brown's powers of condensation-and eighty pages to the rate rulings of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The treatment is far from covering the entire field of rate theory. The problem of valuation is untouched, as are the special issues involved in passenger, express, and mail charges. The six pages devoted to costs and rates on water routes contain no mention of the principle of varied cargoes nor of the special conditions of competition and pooling in that field. If the actual classification system had been treated, and if the regional rate systems had been treated more fully, questions of principle would have been revealed well worthy of a place in a complete theory of the subject. The study of classification omits the physical and traffic characteristics of shipments which affect the cost of moving them. New York's i,ooo-ton-barge canal project is mentioned without reference to subsequent enlargements. One most important gap which no writer has yet filled is the omission to organize the engineering principles of location and construction as an integral part of the theory of rates. There
doi:10.1086/252949 fatcat:rxshxscpw5c4plozvojfo3ipiy