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Toll Competition Among Congested Roads

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  • Engel Eduardo M

    ()
    (Yale University)

  • Fischer Ronald

    ()
    (Universidad de Chile)

  • Galetovic Alexander

    ()
    (Universidad de Chile)

Abstract

Roads are being franchised to private firms in many countries, raising the issue of regulating the tolls they charge. When there is more than one road to get from one point to another, regulation need not be necessary, since competition may substitute for toll regulation. This paper studies toll competition among private asymmetric roads subject to congestion. We obtain two main results. First, in equilibrium tolls are higher than optimal, that is, there is too little congestion. This happens because road owners internalize the reduction in drivers’ willingness to pay due to congestion, thereby softening competition. It follows that the drawback of private competition is exercise of market power, not excessive congestion as is sometimes conjectured. Second, the distortion becomes smaller as market size and the number of roads grow, even if the density of drivers does not change. In the limit tolls converge to the socially optimal level and are just enough to make each driver internalize the congestion externality. This suggests that the scope for competition is better in larger networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.4:y:2004:i:1:n:4

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Erik T. Verhoef, 2007. "Private Roads," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-093/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 25 Jun 2008.
  2. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2002. "Highway Franchising and Real Estate Values," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1354, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Melo, Emerson, 2014. "Price competition, free entry, and welfare in congested markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 53-72.
  4. Barry Ubbels & Erik Verhoef, 2006. "Governmental Competition in Road Charging and Capacity Choice," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-036/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 10 Sep 2007.
  5. Pio Baake & Kay Mitusch, 2007. "Competition with Congestible Networks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 91(2), pages 151-176, June.
  6. Daniel Albalate & Germa Bel, 2008. "Motorways, tolls and road safety.Evidence from European Panel Data," IREA Working Papers 200802, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Feb 2008.
  7. Liu, Tian-Liang & Chen, Jian & Huang, Hai-Jun, 2011. "Existence and efficiency of oligopoly equilibrium under toll and capacity competition," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 908-919.
  8. Maria Dementyeva & Paul R. Koster & Erik T. Verhoef, 2013. "Regulation of Road Accident Externalities when Insurance Companies have Market Power," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-019/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Andrés Pereira, 2001. "Teoría de subastas y concesiones de carreteras," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1701, Department of Economics - dECON.
  10. Paul Calcott & Shuntian Yao, 2005. "Competition between highway operators: can we expect toll differentiation?," Economic Growth centre Working Paper Series 0504, Nanyang Technolgical University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Economic Growth centre.
  11. van den Berg, Vincent A.C. & Verhoef, Erik T., 2012. "Is the travel time of private roads too short, too long, or just right?," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 971-983.
  12. Vincent Van Den Berg, 2011. "The effect of private road supply on the volume/capacity ratio when firms compete Stackelberg in Road Capacity," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1203, European Regional Science Association.
  13. Tan, Zhijia, 2012. "Capacity and toll choice of an add-on toll road under various ownership regimes," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1080-1092.
  14. José R. Correa & Nicolás Figueroa & Nicolás E. Stier-Moses, 2008. "Pricing with markups in industries with increasing marginal costs," Documentos de Trabajo 256, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  15. Xiao, Feng & Yang, Hai & Han, Deren, 2007. "Competition and efficiency of private toll roads," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 292-308, March.
  16. Daniel Albalate & Jordi Perdiguero, 2012. "“Entry Regulation Asymmetries and Gasoline Competition in a Mixed Motorway Network”," IREA Working Papers 201218, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2012.

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