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Transport Subsidies, System Choice, and Urban Sprawl

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  • Jan K. Brueckner

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of transport subsidies on the spatial expansion of cities, asking whether subsidies are a source of undesirable urban sprawl. While the cost-reducing effect of transport subsidies is offset by a higher general tax burden (which reduces the demand for space), the analysis shows that subsidies nevertheless lead to spatial expansion of cities. If the transport system exhibits constant returns to scale, the subsidies are inefficient, making the urban expansion they entail undesirable. The paper also studies transport ‘system choice.’ The city is portrayed as selecting its transport system from along a continuum of money-cost/time-cost choices.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-11/cesifo1_wp1090.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1090.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1090

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Keywords: transport subsidies; urban sprawl; spatial expansion of cities; transport; urban expansion;

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References

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  1. Richard Arnott & David Pines & Efraim Sadka, 1985. "The Effects of an Equiproportional Transport Improvement in a Fully-Closed Monocentric City," Working Papers 620, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Brueckner, Jan & Selod, Harris, 2004. "The Political Economy of Urban Transport System Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 4682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hartwick, John & Schweizer, Urs & Varaiya, Pravin, 1976. "Comparative statics of a residential economy with several classes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 396-413, December.
  5. Richard Voith & Joseph Gyourko, 2000. "Capitalization of federal taxes, the relative price of housing, and urban form: density and sorting effects," Working Papers 00-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Brueckner, Jan K & Kim, Hyun-A, 2003. "Urban Sprawl and the Property Tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 5-23, January.
  7. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
  8. Calfee, John & Winston, Clifford, 1998. "The value of automobile travel time: implications for congestion policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 83-102, July.
  9. Fujita,Masahisa, 1989. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521346627, Fall.
  10. Wheaton, William C., 1974. "A comparative static analysis of urban spatial structure," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 223-237, October.
  11. Thomas J. Nechyba & Randall P. Walsh, 2004. "Urban Sprawl," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 177-200, Fall.
  12. Small, K.A. & Gomez-Ibanez, J.A., 1996. "Urban Transportation," Papers 95-96-4, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  13. Sasaki, Komei, 1990. "Income class, modal choice, and urban spatial structure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 322-343, May.
  14. Pines, David & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Comparative statics analysis of a fully closed city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-20, July.
  15. LeRoy, Stephen F. & Sonstelie, Jon, 1983. "Paradise lost and regained: Transportation innovation, income, and residential location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-89, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rainald Borck & Matthias Wrede, 2004. "Political Economy of Commuting Subsidies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 445, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Avner, Paolo & Rentschler, Jun & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2014. "Carbon price efficiency : lock-in and path dependence in urban forms and transport infrastructure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6941, The World Bank.
  3. Wolfram F. Richter, 2004. "Efficiency Effects of Tax Deductions for Work-Related Expenses," CESifo Working Paper Series 1311, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Rainald Borck & Matthias Wrede, 2008. "Subsidies for Intracity and Intercity Commuting," CESifo Working Paper Series 2321, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2008. "Commuting subsidies with two transport modes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 841-848, May.
  6. De Borger, Bruno & Fosgerau, Mogens, 2008. "The trade-off between money and travel time: A test of the theory of reference-dependent preferences," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 101-115, July.
  7. Georg Hirte & Stefan Tscharaktschiew, 2011. "Income tax deduction of commuting expenses and tax funding in an urban CGE study: the case of German cities," ERSA conference papers ersa11p274, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2011. "Should subsidies to urban passenger transport be increased? A spatial CGE analysis for a German metropolitan area," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 01/11, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  9. Hirte, Georg & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2013. "Income tax deduction of commuting expenses in an urban CGE study: The case of German cities," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 11-27.
  10. Gusdorf, Francois & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2007. "Compact or spread-out cities: Urban planning, taxation, and the vulnerability to transportation shocks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 4826-4838, October.

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