Journal Article

Nobody’s gonna slow me down? The effects of a transportation cost shock on firm performance and behavior


  • Dohse
  • D.
  • Pereira dos Santos
  • J.
  • Branco
  • C.
  • Tavares
  • J.

We study the firm-level responses to a substantial increase in transportation costs in the wake of a quasi-experiment that introduced tolls in a subset of Portuguese highways. Exploiting a unique dataset encompassing the universe of Portuguese private firms, we find that the introduction of tolls caused a substantial decrease in turnover (-10.2%) and productivity (-4.3%) in treated firms vis-à-vis firms in the comparison group. In response to the tolls, firms substantially cut employment-related expenses and purchases of other inputs. Labor costs were reduced by both employment cuts and a decrease in average wages. While firms did not increase inventory, there is some evidence for increased firm exit, in particular by firms in tradables sectors.

Experte IfW Kiel


JEL Classification
R48; L25; R12


  • Unternehmensverhalten
  • Unternehmensleistung
  • Infrastruktur
  • Standort
  • Portugal
  • Straßenmaut