Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Raymond J Florax

Second Advisor

Jon Fricker

Committee Member 1

Fred L Mannering

Committee Member 2

Konstantina Gkritza

Committee Member 3

Matthew Hoelle


Inducing economic growth through appropriate transportation investments and policies and simultaneously focusing on reducing income disparities and equitably distributing the benefits of transportation improvements is a challenge researchers and policymakers currently face. Despite the considerable research on the evaluation of wider economic impacts (such as travel time reliability, market access, and connectivity impacts) of transportation projects, limited studies have been devoted to the evaluation of transportation project externalities disproportionately experienced by lower-income or spatially segregated communities. This dissertation contributes to the research in the area of socioeconomic and distributional implications of transportation investments by: (i) studying the effects of transportation infrastructure development on economic growth and income inequality at a macroscopic level and (ii) developing a methodology for quantifying the potentially causal relationship between gentrification (measured as socioeconomic change) and urban rail development at a regional level.