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The Two-Mode Problem: Second-Best Pricing and Capacity

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Author Info

  • Richard Arnott

    ()
    (Boston College)

  • An Yan

    ()
    (Boston College)

Abstract

Suppose that there are two congestible modes of travel from A to B - road and rail for concreteness - which are imperfect substitutes in demand. Road congestion from A to B is underpriced; this is an unalterable distortion. Compared to the first best, should the transportation planner choose a wider or narrower road, raise or lower the rail fare, and expand or contract rail capacity? This paper provides a synthetic review of the literature on the problem, presents some new results, and discusses directions for future research on this and related second-best problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 474.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 29 Sep 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:474

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Related research

Keywords: second-best; pricing; investement; road; rail;

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References

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  1. Sherman, Roger, 1971. "Congestion Interdependence and Urban Transit Fares," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(3), pages 565-76, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
  4. Mohring, Herbert, 1970. "The Peak Load Problem with Increasing Returns and Pricing Constraints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 693-705, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Bertrand, Trent J, 1977. "'Second Best' Congestion Taxes in Transportation Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1703-15, October.
  7. Richard Arnott & Kenneth Small, 1993. "The Economics Of Traffic Congestion," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 256, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Wilson, John D., 1983. "Optimal road capacity in the presence of unpriced congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 337-357, May.
  9. Kraus, Marvin & Yoshida, Yuichiro, 2002. "The Commuter's Time-of-Use Decision and Optimal Pricing and Service in Urban Mass Transit," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 170-195, January.
  10. William C. Wheaton, 1978. "Price-Induced Distortions in Urban Highway Investment," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 622-632, Autumn.
  11. Braid, Ralph M., 1996. "Peak-Load Pricing of a Transportation Route with an Unpriced Substitute," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 179-197, September.
  12. 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.
  13. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1993. "A Structural Model of Peak-Period Congestion: A Traffic Bottleneck with Elastic Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 161-79, March.
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