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On Subsidising Auto-Commuting

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  • Edward Calthrop
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    Abstract

    Evidence suggests that a considerable proportion of peak period trips aremade for purposes other than commuting to or from work.given the differentdegrees of Hicksian complementarity with the labour market, optimal taxtheory suggests that, in a second-best world, different trip purposes shouldbe taxed at different rates. This paper explores this issue and argues for auniform congestion toll (independent of trip-purpose) combined with asubsidy to auto-commuters. A numerical model suggests that while, in theabsence of congestion tolls, commuting subsidies are welfare decreasing, anoptimal pricing scheme entails auto-commuters receiving a subsidy of nearly50 percent of the uniform road toll.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2001/wp-cesifo-2001-09/cesifo_wp566.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 566.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_566

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    1. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. Parry, Ian W. H. & Bento, Antonio, 2002. "Estimating the Welfare Effect of Congestion Taxes: The Critical Importance of Other Distortions within the Transport System," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 339-365, March.
    3. Edward Calthrop & Stef Proost, 1998. "Road Transport Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 335-348, April.
    4. Parry, Ian W H & Bento, Antonio, 2001. " Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 645-71, December.
    5. Wrede, Matthias, 2001. "Should Commuting Expenses Be Tax Deductible? A Welfare Analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 80-99, January.
    6. Bovenberg, A.L. & Ploeg, F. van der, 1992. "Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world," Discussion Paper 1992-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Deaton, Angus, 1979. "Optimally uniform commodity taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 357-361.
    8. Small, K.A. & Kazimi, C., 1994. "On the Costs of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicules," Papers 94-95-3, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    9. 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.
    10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    11. Auerbach, Alan J., 1979. "A brief note on a non-existent theorem about the optimality of uniform taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 49-52.
    12. A. Bovenberg, 1999. "Green Tax Reforms and the Double Dividend: an Updated Reader's Guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 421-443, August.
    13. Alan J. Auerbach, 1982. "The Theory of Excess Burden and Optimal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
    15. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    16. Parry, I. W. H., 2002. "Comparing the efficiency of alternative policies for reducing traffic congestion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 333-362, September.
    17. Edward Calthrop & Stef Proost & Kurt van Dender, 2000. "Parking Policies and Road Pricing," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 37(1), pages 63-76, January.
    18. Bovenberg, A Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H, 1996. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General-Equilibrium Analyses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 985-1000, September.
    19. Proost, Stef & Van Dender, Kurt, 2001. "The welfare impacts of alternative policies to address atmospheric pollution in urban road transport," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 383-411, July.
    20. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Ladoux, Norbert, 1998. "Externalities and optimal taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 343-364, December.
    21. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S64-S77, November.
    22. Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-53, March.
    23. Kraus, Marvin & Mohring, Herbert & Pinfold, Thomas P, 1976. "The Welfare Costs of Nonoptimum Pricing and Investment Policies for Freeway Transportation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 532-47, September.
    24. 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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    Cited by:
    1. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2012. "Should subsidies to urban passenger transport be increased? A spatial CGE analysis for a German metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 285-309.
    2. 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.
    3. Matthias Wrede, 2003. "Tax Deductibility of Commuting Expenses and Residential Land Use with more than one Center," CESifo Working Paper Series 972, CESifo Group Munich.

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