Research Overview

Efficient transportation is a global issue. Because the effects of transportation on people, business, economies, and the environment are so pervasive, interest in public policies affecting transportation industries is intense. Bitzan's research has spanned public policy issues related to railroads, airlines, motor carriers, waterways, and public transit. As part of that research, he's examined a range of economic issues related to those policy implications, including transportation costs, energy consumption, intermodal competition, industry investment, industry structure, pricing, profitability, and regulatory change.

Research Interests
  • Market Structure and Performance
  • The Impacts of Regulatory Change
  • Transport Economics
Current Research

Bitzan is currently performing a study for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Freight Railroad Costs that examines the extent of scale economies in the freight railroad industry, explores the implications for differential pricing, and analyzes the implications on agriculture and policy. This research will provide an important contribution to public policy debates, as the Surface Transportation Board considers ways to reform its procedures for determining maximum reasonable rail prices.

  • Bitzan's research has been cited in:
    • Regulatory proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board by various entities, such as the Norfolk Southern Railroad and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • Many international studies examining the efficient regulatory structures for railroads in Europe and Australia, including several performed by the Director of Economic Research of the U.S. Department of Justice
  • He was invited to speak at the extended session of the Commission on Transportation and Transport Infrastructure in Russia, which included participants from the Russian Federation Council, State Duma, the Ministry of Transport, and Russian Railways.
  • He served on an expert panel to perform a technical review of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Ohio River Navigation Investment model, resulting in improvements of that model.
  • John Bitzan has co-edited three books in transportation economics. His research has been published in a wide variety of journals, including the Journal of Law & Economics, the Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, the Review of Industrial Organization, and the Southern Economic Journal.

John Bitzan

Director of the Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth
Professor of Management
Richard H. Barry Hall, 100A
(701) 231-8949


  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • MA Marquette University
  • BA St. Cloud State University


  • International Business
  • Managerial Economics
Top of page