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Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self Interest

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  • Harsman, Bjorn
  • Quigley, John M.

Abstract

Studies of the “stated preferences†of households generally report public and political opposition by urban commuters to congestion pricing. It is thought that this opposition inhibits or precludes tolls and pricing systems that would enhance efficiency in the use of scarce roadways. This paper analyzes the only case in which road pricing was decided by a citizen referendum on the basis of experience with a specific pricing system. The city of Stockholm introduced a toll system for seven months in 2006, after which citizens voted on its permanent adoption. We match precinct voting records to citizen commute times and costs by traffic zone, and we analyze patterns of voting in response to economic and political incentives. We document political and ideological incentives for citizen choice, but we also find that the pattern of time savings and incremental costs exerts a powerful influence on voting behavior. In this instance, at least, citizen voters behave as if they value commute time highly. When they have experienced first-hand the out-of-pocket costs and time-savings of a specific pricing scheme, they are prepared to adopt freely policies which reduce congestion on urban motorways.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt14n0h1nv.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt14n0h1nv

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Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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References

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  1. Jens Schade & Bernhard Schlag, 2000. "Acceptability of Urban Transport Pricing," Research Reports, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) 72, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  2. Eliasson, Jonas, 2009. "A cost-benefit analysis of the Stockholm congestion charging system," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 468-480, May.
  3. Krupnick, Alan & Harrington, Winston & Alberini, Anna, 1998. "Overcoming Public Aversion to Congestion Pricing," Discussion Papers, Resources For the Future dp-98-27, Resources For the Future.
  4. Prud'homme, Rémy & Bocarejo, Juan Pablo, 2005. "The London congestion charge: a tentative economic appraisal," Transport Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 279-287, May.
  5. Jonathan Leape, 2006. "The London Congestion Charge," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 157-176, Fall.
  6. Eliasson, Jonas & Hultkrantz, Lars & Nerhagen, Lena & Rosqvist, Lena Smidfelt, 2009. "The Stockholm congestion - charging trial 2006: Overview of effects," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 240-250, March.
  7. Eliasson, Jonas, 2008. "Lessons from the Stockholm congestion charging trial," Transport Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 395-404, November.
  8. Leon N. Moses & Harold F. Williamson & Jr., 1963. "Value of Time, Choice of Mode, and the Subsidy Issue in Urban Transportation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 247.
  9. van Ommeren, Jos & Fosgerau, Mogens, 2008. "Workers' marginal costs of commuting," MPRA Paper, University Library of Munich, Germany 12010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. DeSerpa, A C, 1971. "A Theory of the Economics of Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 81(324), pages 828-46, December.
  11. Allan C. DeSerpa, 1975. "On the Comparative Statics of Time Allocation Theory," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 8(1), pages 101-11, February.
  12. Winslott-Hiselius, Lena & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Vagland, Asa & Byström, Camilla, 2009. "The development of public attitudes towards the Stockholm congestion trial," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 269-282, March.
  13. Cherlow, Jay R, 1981. " Measuring Values of Travel Time Savings," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 360-71, March.
  14. Eliasson, Jonas & Mattsson, Lars-Göran, 2006. "Equity effects of congestion pricing: Quantitative methodology and a case study for Stockholm," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 602-620, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Damien Broussolle, 2011. "Le Peage Urbain : Une Source De Financement Acceptable ? Avec Une Application Au Cas De L’Agglomeration Strasbourgeoise," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg 2011-07, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
  2. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas & Hugosson, Muriel & Brundell-Freij, Karin, 2012. "The Stockholm congestion charges – five years on. Effects, acceptability and lessons learnt," Working papers in Transport Economics, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI) 2012:3, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  3. Michael Manville & David King, 2013. "Credible commitment and congestion pricing," Transportation, Springer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 229-249, February.
  4. Mullen, Caroline & Tight, Miles & Whiteing, Anthony & Jopson, Ann, 2014. "Knowing their place on the roads: What would equality mean for walking and cycling?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 238-248.

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