Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
- recognize economic tools available to urban planners to influence travel behavior and minimize negative
spillovers to society
- contribute productively to discussions on the effectiveness of various contemporary transportation
- analyse the social costs and benefits of public interventions in transport (and adjacent) markets

Credits: 5

Schedule: 09.01.2025 - 13.02.2025

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Prottoy Akbar

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    This course will introduce the economic concepts underlying the allocation of transportation resources today. We will study how markets for transport services operate in terms of the behavior of consumers and suppliers, when market failures lead to over- and under-provision of some services, how governments can intervene to correct these failures, and how interventions in transport markets can affect the urban space itself (such as through housing markets and residential segregation). Finally, we will learn standard econometric techniques that can be used to evaluate the effects of transportation policies and interventions in sparse data settings. Lecture contents are organized as follows:

    1. Markets, supply and demand for transportation
    2. Market equilibrium, transport demand elasticity, competition
    3. Externalities and market failures
    4. Transport subsidies, ownership and regulation
    5. Pricing of transportation services
    6. Road congestion, housing markets and accessibility
    7. Learning from observational data
    8. Quantifying costs and benefits for policy evaluation

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Homework problems, in-class worksheets, a policy debate, and a final case study.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Will be announced in the course syllabus.


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Will be specified during the course.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language: English

    Teaching Period: 2024-2025 Spring III
    2025-2026 Spring III


    Registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( If there is a waitlist, seats will be allocated in the following order of priority:

    1) Students in the MSc programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering

    2) Students in the BSc programme in Economics

    3) Other Aalto students

    The course meets in-person twice a week and in-class activities are a large part of the overall learning and evaluation. Unfortunately, they also restrict the number of students that can be accommodated. So, if you are unable to attend the in-person sessions, I would discourage you from committing to this iteration of the course, so we can make room for someone who might benefit more.