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Life-Cycle Cost of Manufactured Goods: A Case Study in US Ground Passenger Transportation



Douglas Thomas


National governments invest in research and development efforts that advance efficiency and spur economic growth. There are, however, few studies that identify the efforts that will have the largest possible return on investment. This lack of research results in the funding of investments with suboptimal returns. Initial research in this area has focused on examining production costs; however, to identify high-return areas of research, efforts need to be taken further to include both the production and use of a product. This paper examines the life-cycle cost of passenger ground transportation as a proof of concept to identify areas of public research that might have a high return on investment. It uses input-output analysis to examine the supply chain for production and use of transportation equipment. The Pareto principle, which posits that roughly 80 % of a problem is due to 20 % of the causes, is utilized for targeting specific efficiency solutions. Those supply chain entities that are above the 80th percentile for both financial costs and environmental impacts are identified. The robustness of this identification is examined using Monte Carlo techniques. Forty-three supply chain entities were identified as being above the 80th percentile for cost, measured in value added, and environmental impact with six being above the 95th percentile for both.
Conference Dates
June 25-29, 2018
Conference Location
Juiz de Fora, BR
Conference Title
26th International Input-Output Conference


input output analysis, transportation, efficiency


Thomas, D. (2018), Life-Cycle Cost of Manufactured Goods: A Case Study in US Ground Passenger Transportation, 26th International Input-Output Conference, Juiz de Fora, BR, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created June 24, 2018, Updated April 12, 2022