Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Zhang, Li

Committee Member

Vahedifard, Farshid

Committee Member

Qu, Yinnge

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Civil Engineering (Transportation Engineering)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


This study reviews the competition and productivity of the U.S. freight transportation industry for the past 41 years. This study investigated the trends of HHI market concentration index values and labor productivity values of rail and truck sectors and tried to find any relationships between the two values in the separate periods before and after the abolishment of the ICC. This study also investigated how the existence of a regulatory body impacted productivity of the freight transportation industry by using a Cobb Douglas production function on annual financial statement data in the U.S. stock exchange market. This study found that: while the truck sector became more competitive after the abolishment of the ICC, the rail sector became less competitive, both sectors had a strong positive correlation between HHI and labor productivity, and the ICC’s abolishment resulted in positive changes of total factor productivity for the truck sector only.