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Commuting, congestion tolls and the structure of the labour market: Optimal congestion pricing in a wage bargaining model

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  • De Borger, Bruno

Abstract

In this paper we study optimal congestion pricing in a wage bargaining model. We first show that, compared to a competitive labour market environment, wage bargaining may lead to substantially different optimal transport taxes. Second, bargaining implies that exogenous increases in congestion levels and in transport taxes raise negotiated wages and reduce employment levels; the strength of these effects depends on the union's attitude towards transport issues. Third, we show that the optimal uniform transport tax positively depends on the impact of congestion on negotiated wages, and negatively on the wage effects of the congestion tax itself. Using a standard specification for union preferences, the optimal transport tax exceeds the marginal external congestion cost to the extent that transport flows include demand by people who have no employment. Finally, if taxes can be differentiated according to trip purpose, the tax structure implies shifting the tax burden away from the employed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 434-448

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:39:y:2009:i:4:p:434-448

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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Keywords: Wage bargaining Congestion pricing Commuting;

References

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  1. 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.
  2. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 1997. " Optimal Tax and Public Investment Rules for Congestion Type of Externalities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(2), pages 261-79, June.
  3. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
  4. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2005. "Political economy of commuting subsidies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 478-499, May.
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  6. Wrede, Matthias, 2001. "Should Commuting Expenses Be Tax Deductible? A Welfare Analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 80-99, January.
  7. Erik T. Verhoef, 2004. "Second-best Congestion Pricing Schemes in the Monocentric City," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-110/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Holmlund, Bertil & Kolm, Ann-Sofie, 1998. "Environmental Tax Reform in a Small Open Economy with Structural Unemployment," Working Paper Series 1997:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  9. Bayindir-Upmann, Thorsten & Raith, Matthias G., 2003. "Should high-tax countries pursue revenue-neutral ecological tax reforms?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 41-60, February.
  10. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
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  13. Schneider, Kerstin, 1997. " Involuntary Unemployment and Environmental Policy: The Double Dividend Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 45-49, March.
  14. Van Ommeren, Jos & Rietveld, Piet, 2005. "The commuting time paradox," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 437-454, November.
  15. Kurt Van Dender, 2003. "Transport Taxes with Multiple Trip Purposes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 295-310, 06.
  16. Hart,Robert A., 2004. "The Economics of Overtime Working," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521801423, December.
  17. Sandmo, Agnar, 2000. "The Public Economics of the Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297987.
  18. Safirova, Elena, 2002. "Telecommuting, traffic congestion, and agglomeration: a general equilibrium model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 26-52, July.
  19. De Borger B., 2006. "Commuting, congestion tolls and noncompetitive labour markets: optimal congestion pricing in a wage bargaining model," Working Papers 2006014, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Search, migration, and urban land use: The case of transportation policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 174-187, November.
  2. McArthur, D.P. & Thorsen, I. & Ubøe, J., 2012. "Labour market effects in assessing the costs and benefits of road pricing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 310-321.
  3. Börjesson, Maria & Kristoffersson, Ida, 2012. "Estimating welfare effects of congestion charges in real world settings," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:13, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  4. Ioannis Tikoudis & Erik T. Verhoef & Jos N. van Ommeren, 2013. "On Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Second-Best Congestion Pricing in a Monocentric City," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-031/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Anderstig, Christer & Berglund, Svante & Eliasson, Jonas & Andersson, Matts & Pyddoke, Roger, 2012. "Congestion charges and labour market imperfections: “Wider economic benefits” or “losses”?," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:4, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).

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