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Auctions for Private Congestible Infrastructures

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  • Vincent A.C. van den Berg

    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper investigates regulation by auctions of private supply of congestible infrastructures in two networks settings: 1) two serial facilities, where the consumer has to use both in order to consume; and 2) two parallel facilities that are imperfect substitutes. There are four market structures: a monopoly and 3 duopolies that differ in how firms interact. The effects of an auction depend on what the bidders compete. With a transfer auction, the bidders compete on how much money they transfer to the government. This auction leads to the same outcome as the game without an auction (for a given market structure), since this gives the maximum profit to transfer. An auction on the capacity of a facility leads to an even lower welfare than no auction, because firms set very high capacities and usage fees. Conversely, an auction on the generalised price or number of users leads to the first-best outcome. Moreover, these two auctions are robust: they attain the first-best regardless of whether the facilities are auctioned off to a single firm or to two, and for all market and network structures. On the contrary, the performances (relative to the first-best) of the transfer and capacity auctions strongly depend on these considerations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 12-087/VIII.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 2012
Date of revision: 19 Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20120087

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: private supply; congestible facilities; auctions; serial facilities; parallel facilities; imperfect substitutes;

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  1. Van Dender, Kurt, 2005. "Duopoly Prices Under Congested Access," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7xw8c3fn, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. Verhoef, Erik T., 2007. "Second-best road pricing through highway franchising," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 337-361, September.
  3. Engel, Eduardo & Fischer, Ronald & Galetovic, Alexander, 1997. "Highway Franchising: Pitfalls and Opportunities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 68-72, May.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Kostas Bimpikis & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2006. "Price and Capacity Competition," NBER Working Papers 12804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Xiao, Feng & Yang, Hai & Han, Deren, 2007. "Competition and efficiency of private toll roads," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 292-308, March.
  6. Barry Ubbels & Erik Verhoef, 2004. "Auctioning Concessions for Private Roads," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-008/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Bruno De Borger & Kurt Van Dender, 2005. "Prices, capacities and service quality in a congestible Bertrand duopoly," ERSA conference papers ersa05p221, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Zhang, Anming & Zhang, Yimin, 2006. "Airport capacity and congestion when carriers have market power," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 229-247, September.
  9. Tan, Zhijia & Yang, Hai & Guo, Xiaolei, 2010. "Properties of Pareto-efficient contracts and regulations for road franchising," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 415-433, May.
  10. van den Berg, Vincent A.C. & Verhoef, Erik T., 2012. "Is the travel time of private roads too short, too long, or just right?," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 971-983.
  11. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
  12. Erik T. Verhoef, 2008. "Private Roads: Auctions and Competition in Networks," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 42(3), pages 463-493, September.
  13. Kurt Van Dender, 2005. "Duopoly prices under congested access," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 343-362.
  14. Basso, Leonardo J. & Zhang, Anming, 2007. "Congestible facility rivalry in vertical structures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 218-237, March.
  15. Erik T. Verhoef, 2007. "Private Roads," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-093/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 25 Jun 2008.
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Cited by:
  1. Vincent van den Berg, 2012. "Advantaged Bidders in Franchise Auctions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-117/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.

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