The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities
AbstractWe investigate the relationship between interstate highways and highway vehicle kilometers traveled (vkt) in US cities. We find that vkt increases proportionately to highways and identify three important sources for this extra vkt: an increase in driving by current residents; an increase in transportation intensive production activity; and an inflow of new residents. The provision of public transportation has no impact on vkt. We also estimate the aggregate city level demand for vkt and find it to be very elastic. We conclude that an increased provision of roads or public transit is unlikely to relieve congestion and that the current provision of roads exceeds the optimum given the absence of congestion pricing.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7462.
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2011. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2616-52, October.
- Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2009. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities," NBER Working Papers 15376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2009. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities," Working Papers tecipa-370, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2009. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," SERC Discussion Papers 0030, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
- L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General
- R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-GEO-2009-11-27 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-URE-2009-11-27 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- I-405 Expansion in LA Offers a Case Study of the Fundamental Law of Traffic Congestion
by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-01-07 01:19:00
- Can Improvements in Atlanta's Public Transit Infrastructure Reduce Road Congestion?
by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-07-15 22:15:00
- Why new roads do not alleviate congestion
by Olaf Storbeck in Economics Intelligence on 2011-10-24 21:32:08
- Wer StraÃ?en sÃ¤t, wird Staus ernten
by Olaf Storbeck in Handelsblog on 2011-10-19 14:26:40
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