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Auctioning concessions for private roads

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  • Ubbels, Barry
  • Verhoef, Erik T.

Abstract

Private toll roads are now seriously considered as an alternative to public (free-access) road infrastructure. Nevertheless, complete private provision without governmental control is only rarely considered. A main consideration against private roads would be that operators would be primarily interested in maximizing profits, which - given the market power they will have - will typically not lead to welfare-maximizing tolls and capacities. An important question is whether these discrepancies can be mitigated by a proper design of auctions for concessions of private roads. This paper therefore analyses capacity choice and toll setting by private investors in a competitive bidding framework organized by the government. We develop a two-link network simulation model with an untolled alternative to determine relative efficiency effects, and analyze rules for the government to organize the bidding process such that a more desired (welfare optimal) outcome is achieved. Our results show that, depending on the design of the auction, its outcomes may vary strongly, and may approach the maximum possible (second-best) welfare gains.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 42 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 155-172

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:42:y:2008:i:1:p:155-172

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References

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  1. Verhoef, Erik T. & Small, Kenneth A., 2002. "Product Differentiation on Roads: Constrained Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneous Users," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2sb2x5xp, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. Mills, David E, 1981. "Ownership Arrangements and Congestion-Prone Facilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 493-502, June.
  3. AndrÊ de Palma & Robin Lindsey, 2000. "Private toll roads: Competition under various ownership regimes," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 13-35.
  4. Rienstra, S.A. & Nijkamp, P., 1996. "Lessons from private financing of transport infrastructure: Dutch infrastructure in the 19th century and European projects in the 20th century," Serie Research Memoranda 0013, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  5. Yang, Hai & Meng, Qiang, 2000. "Highway pricing and capacity choice in a road network under a build-operate-transfer scheme," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 207-222, April.
  6. Small, Kenneth A., 1999. "Economies of scale and self-financing rules with non-competitive factor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 431-450, December.
  7. Verhoef, Erik & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1996. "Second-Best Congestion Pricing: The Case of an Untolled Alternative," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 279-302, November.
  8. Erik T. Verhoef, 2005. "Second-best Road Pricing Through Highway Franchising," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-082/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Edelson, Noel M, 1971. "Congestion Tolls Under Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 873-82, December.
  10. Liu, Louie Nan & McDonald, John F., 1998. "Efficient Congestion Tolls in the Presence of Unpriced Congestion: A Peak and Off-Peak Simulation Model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 352-366, November.
  11. Erik T. Verhoef & Kenneth A. Small, 2004. "Product Differentiation on Roads," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 38(1), pages 127-156, January.
  12. Jyh-Fa Tsai & Chih-Peng Chu, 2003. "The analysis of regulation on private highway investment under a build-operate-transfer scheme," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 221-243, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cantos-Sánchez, Pedro & Moner-Colonques, Rafael & Sempere-Monerris, José J. & Álvarez-SanJaime, Óscar, 2011. "Viability of new road infrastructure with heterogeneous users," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 435-450, June.
  2. Wu, Di & Yin, Yafeng & Yang, Hai, 2011. "The independence of volume-capacity ratio of private toll roads in general networks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 96-101, January.
  3. Albalate, Daniel & Bel, Germà, 2009. "Regulating concessions of toll motorways: An empirical study on fixed vs. variable term contracts," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 219-229, February.
  4. Kang, Chao-Chung & Lee, Tsun-Siou & Huang, Szu-Chi, 2013. "Royalty bargaining in Public–Private Partnership projects: Insights from a theoretic three-stage game auction model," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-14.
  5. van den Berg, Vincent A.C., 2012. "Auctions for private congestible infrastructures," MPRA Paper 40103, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. van den Berg, Vincent A.C., 2013. "Serial private infrastructures," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 186-202.
  7. Vincent A.C. van den Berg, 2012. "Auctions for Private Congestible Infrastructures," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-087/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Oct 2012.
  8. Verhoef, Erik T., 2007. "Second-best road pricing through highway franchising," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 337-361, September.
  9. Tan, Zhijia & Yang, Hai, 2012. "Flexible build-operate-transfer contracts for road franchising under demand uncertainty," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1419-1439.
  10. Tan, Zhijia & Yang, Hai & Guo, Xiaolei, 2010. "Properties of Pareto-efficient contracts and regulations for road franchising," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 415-433, May.
  11. Ubbels, Barry & Verhoef, Erik T., 2008. "Governmental competition in road charging and capacity choice," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 174-190, March.
  12. Wu, Di & Yin, Yafeng & Lawphongpanich, Siriphong, 2011. "Optimal selection of build–operate-transfer projects on transportation networks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1699-1709.
  13. Tsai, Jyh-Fa & Chu, Chih-Peng, 2010. "Analysis of the optimal length of road expansion - A case study of the Taipei metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 147-158, March.
  14. Niu, Baozhuang & Zhang, Jie, 2013. "Price, capacity and concession period decisions of Pareto-efficient BOT contracts with demand uncertainty," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-14.

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