The Value of "Value Pricing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation
AbstractSome road-pricing demonstrations use an approach called "value pr icing", in which travelers can choose between a free but congested roadway and a priced roadway. Recent research has uncovered a potentially serious problem for such demonstrations: in certain models, second-best tolls are far lower than those typically charged, and the welfare gains from profit maximization are small or even negative. That research, however , assumes that all travelers are identical, and it therefore neglects the benefits of product differentiation, by which people with different values of time can choose a suitable cost/quality combination. Using a model with two user groups, we find that accounting for heterogeneity in value of time is important in evaluating constrained policies, and improves the relative performance of policies that offer differential prices. Nevertheless, for most of the reasonable range of heterogeneity, second-best pricing produces far fewer benefits than pricing both roadways optimally, and profit-maximizing tolls are so high that over all welfare is reduced from the no-toll baseline.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.
Volume (Year): 49 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905
Other versions of this item:
- Small, K.A. & Yan, J., 1999. "The Value of "Value Princing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation," Papers 99-00-02, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Small, Kenneth & Yan, Jia, 2000. "The Value of "Value Pricing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation," Discussion Papers dp-00-08, Resources For the Future.
- Small, Kenneth A. & Yan, Jia, 2001. "The Value of "Value Pricing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9569k1sz, University of California Transportation Center.
- R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion
- R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
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