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Inside the queue:: hypercongestion and road pricing in a continuous time-continuous place model of traffic congestion

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  • Verhoef, Erik T.

Abstract

This paper develops a continuous time - continuous place model of road traffic congestion, based on car-following theory. The model fully integrates two archetype representations of traffic congestion technology, namely "flow congestion", originating in the works of Pigou, and "vertical queuing" models, pioneered by Vickrey. Because a closed-form analytical solution of the formal model does not exist, its behaviour is explored in a numerical exercise. In a setting with endogenous departure time choice and with a bottleneck halfway the route, it is shown that "hypercongestion" can arise as a dynamic - transitional and local - equilibrium phenomenon. Also dynamic toll schedules are explored. It is found that a toll rule based on an intuitive dynamic and space-varying generalization of the standard Pigouvian tax rule can hardly be improved upon. A naïve application of a toll schedule based on Vickrey´s bottleneck model, in contrast, performs much worse and actually even reduces welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 531-565

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:54:y:2003:i:3:p:531-565

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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References

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  1. Evans, Alan W, 1992. "Road Congestion: The Diagrammatic Analysis: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 211-17, February.
  2. Verhoef, Erik T., 1999. "Time, speeds, flows and densities in static models of road traffic congestion and congestion pricing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 341-369, May.
  3. Braid, Ralph M., 1989. "Uniform versus peak-load pricing of a bottleneck with elastic demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 320-327, November.
  4. Henderson, J. V., 1974. "Road congestion : A reconsideration of pricing theory," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 346-365, July.
  5. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-79, June.
  6. Chu Xuehao, 1995. "Endogenous Trip Scheduling: The Henderson Approach Reformulated and Compared with the Vickrey Approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 324-343, May.
  7. Verhoef, Erik T., 2002. "Second-best congestion pricing in general networks. Heuristic algorithms for finding second-best optimal toll levels and toll points," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 707-729, September.
  8. Hiroshi Ohta, 2001. "Probing A Traffic Congestion Controversy: Density and Flow Scrutinized," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 659-680.
  9. Verhoef, Erik T., 2001. "An Integrated Dynamic Model of Road Traffic Congestion Based on Simple Car-Following Theory: Exploring Hypercongestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 505-542, May.
  10. Mun, Se-il, 1999. "Peak-Load Pricing of a Bottleneck with Traffic Jam," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 323-349, November.
  11. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Arnott & Eren Inci, 2008. "The Stability Of Downtown Parking And Traffic Congestion," Working Papers 200813, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
  2. Arnott, Richard, 2013. "A bathtub model of downtown traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 110-121.
  3. Verhoef, Erik T., 2005. "Speed-flow relations and cost functions for congested traffic: Theory and empirical analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 792-812.

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