Insularity and the development of a local railway network

  • F. Cerina
  • L. CoccoEmail author
  • K. Mannaro
  • M. Marchesi
  • F. Pigliaru
Original Paper


This paper quantitatively assesses the negative impact of land discontinuity on the development of a railway network on an island. This implicit cost of insularity is because an insular railway network only serves the territory in which it is located while the same network on a mainland also serves other regions. We apply this idea to the case of a simplified Italian railway network and we implement it through a simulation model. The simulation results highlight the strong negative effect of land discontinuity: whereas the railway lines located on the island of Sardinia are the least profitable under the factual scenario, their relative profitability is significantly boosted in every counterfactual scenario where the land discontinuity is artificially removed.


Insularity Simulation modeling Railway networks Regional development 

JEL Classification

R41 R12 R58 C63 



This research has benefited from the financial support of the Regione Autonoma Della Sardegna (Legge n. 7) under the project “Analysis of the additional economic costs of the state of insularity”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  2. 2.Centre for North South economic research (CRENoS)CagliariItaly
  3. 3.Department of Electric and Electronic EngineeringUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  4. 4.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  5. 5.Department of LawUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

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