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Highway Franchising and Real Estate Values

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  • Eduardo Engel
  • Ronald Fischer
  • Alexander Galetovic

Abstract

It has become increasingly common to allocate highway franchises to the bidder that offers to charge the lowest toll. Often, building a highway increases the value of land held by a small group of developers, an effect that is more pronounced with lower tolls. We study the welfare implications of highway franchises that benefit large developers, focusing on the incentives developers have to internalize the effect of the toll they bid on the value of their land. We study how participation by developers in the auction affects equilibrium tolls and welfare. We find that large developers bid more aggressively than construction companies that own no land. As long as land ownership is sufficiently concentrated, allowing developers in the auction leads to lower tolls and higher welfare. Moreover, collusion among developers is socially desirable. We also analyze the case when the franchise holder can charge lower tolls to those buying her land (`toll discrimination'). Relative to uniform tolls, discrimination decreases welfare when land is highly concentrated, but increases welfare otherwise. Finally, we consider the welfare implications of subsidies and bonuses for proposing new highway projects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8803.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Publication status: published as Engel, Eduardo, Ronald Fischer and Alexander Galetovic. "Highway Franchising And Real Estate Values," Journal of Urban Economics, 2005, v57(3,May), 432-448.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8803

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  1. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Infraestructure Franchising and Government Guarantees," Documentos de Trabajo 29, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  2. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1999. "Multidimensional Mechanism Design for Auctions with Externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 258-293, April.
  3. Carlos Diaz & Raimundo Soto, . "Open-Access Issues in the Chilean Telecommunications and Electricity Sectors," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv124, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  4. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," NBER Working Papers 6689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1999. "Toll competition among congested roads," Documentos de Trabajo 54, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  6. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1996. "How (Not) to Sell Nuclear Weapons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 814-29, September.
  7. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2001. "How to Auction an Essential Facility When Underhand Integration is Possible," NBER Working Papers 8146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-87, June.
  9. Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2004. "How to Auction a Bottleneck Monopoly When Underhand Vertical Agreements are Possible," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 427-455, 09.
  10. Daniel F. Spulber, 1989. "Regulation and Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262192756, December.
  11. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, December.
  12. Harstad, Ronald M & Crew, Michael A, 1999. "Franchise Bidding without Holdups: Utility Regulation with Efficient Pricing and Choice of Provider," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 141-63, March.
  13. Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Karolien De Bruyne & Jan Van Hove, 2013. "Explaining the spatial variation in housing prices: an economic geography approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(13), pages 1673-1689, May.
  2. Beatriz Marulanda & Miguel Montes, 2004. "Desarrollo de proyectos viales y aportes del estado en terrenos," IDB Publications 49398, Inter-American Development Bank.

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