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Regulating on-street parking

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  • Edward Calthrop

    ()
    (K.U.Leuven, C.E.S., Energy, Transport and Environment)

  • Stef Proost

    ()
    (K.U.Leuven, C.E.S., Energy, Transport and Environment)

Abstract

Consider the choices available to a shopper driving to a city and trying to park downtown. One option, typical to many cities, is to follow the signposts to an off-street parking facility, which is often privately operated. Another option is to search for an on-street spot. If this proves unsuccessful, it is always possible to return to the off-street facility. We formalise such a setting and examine optimal on-street parking policy in the presence of an off-street market. Not surprisingly, the amount of socially-wasteful searching behaviour is shown to depend on the prices of both the off- and on-street market. If the off-street market is run competitively, optimal on-street policy reduces to a simple and attractive rule: set the on-street price equal to the resource cost of off-street parking supply. Other pricing rules result in either excessive searching behaviour or excessive off-street investment costs. Time restrictions - a common alternative to on-street fees - are also shown to be inefficient. In practice, however, off-street markets are unlikely to be competitive. We examine the case of a single off-street supplier playing as a Stackelberg follower to the government regulated on-street market. Based on a numerical example (calibrated to London), optimal on-street policy is shown to either involve setting a relatively high on-street price, such that the monopolist is induced to undercut and gain the entire parking demand, or setting a relatively low price, while the monopolist maximises profit on the residual demand curve. Which strategy is optimal is shown to be parameter dependent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment in its series Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series with number ete0202.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ete:etewps:ete0202

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Keywords: parking; transport pricing; publicly provided goods;

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References

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  1. Anderson, Simon P. & de Palma, Andre, 2004. "The economics of pricing parking," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-20, January.
  2. Richard Arnott, 1990. "A Temporal and Spatial Equilibrium Analysis of Commuter Parking," Discussion Papers 884, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Arnott, Richard & Rowse, John, 1999. "Modeling Parking," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 97-124, January.
  4. Verhoef, Erik & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1995. "The economics of regulatory parking policies: The (IM)possibilities of parking policies in traffic regulation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 141-156, March.
  5. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1984. "Effective Policy Tools and Quantity Controls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 59-86, January.
  6. Glazer, Amihai & Niskanen, Esko, 2001. "Parking fees and congestion," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9h51t02k, University of California Transportation Center.
  7. Sundaram,Rangarajan K., 1996. "A First Course in Optimization Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497701.
  8. Sundaram,Rangarajan K., 1996. "A First Course in Optimization Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497190.
  9. Edward Calthrop & Stef Proost, 2002. "Regulating on-street parking," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0202, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  10. De Vany, Arthur S & Saving, Thomas R, 1977. "Product Quality, Uncertainty, and Regulation: The Trucking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 583-94, September.
  11. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
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