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The Economics of Transportation Network Growth

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Author Info

  • Lei Zhang
  • David Levinson

    ()
    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

A number of factors influence the efficiency, productivity, and welfare of a transportation network. Travel demand, user costs, and facility supply costs equilibrate on various time scales under a set of pricing (taxes and tolls), investment and ownership policies. Two types of equilibria exist in a transportation network, short-run traffic equilibrium and long-run supply-demand equilibrium. The phenomenon of traffic equilibrium is explored with a fixed transportation network where the capacity of links is given. Even though investment- and ownership-related policies are not of major concern for studies on traffic equilibrium, it is still a complex problem due to network congestion effects, variations of pricing rules, and multidimensionality of user choices. In order to understand the long-run supply-demand equilibrium in a transportation network, one has to consider all above-mentioned factors in a coherent analytical framework. We refer to this research problem as the transportation network growth problem, because the network evolves and link capacity is not fixed in the long run. Most previous studies have considered network pricing, investment, and ownership structures separately, which are reviewed. The paper considers choices of prices, capacity, and ownership simultaneously on small parallel, serial, and parallel-serial networks, and develops an analytical network model. We discuss properties of long-run network equilibria with different network layouts and ownership regimes, and the implications on network efficiency.

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/EconomicsOfNetworkGrowth.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 200710.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Essays on Transportation Economics. Pablo Coto Millen and Vicente Inglada (ed.) Springer. Contributions to Economics.
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:economicsofnetworkgrowth

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Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
Fax: +01 (612) 626-7750
Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu
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Related research

Keywords: Network economics; Modeling network dynamics; Road pricing; Transportation financing; Privatization.;

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References

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  1. Verhoef, Erik & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1996. "Second-Best Congestion Pricing: The Case of an Untolled Alternative," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 279-302, November.
  2. David Levinson & Ramachandra Karamalaputi, 2003. "Induced Supply: A Model of Highway Network Expansion at the Microscopic Level," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 297-318, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2007. "Jurisdictional Control and Network Growth," Working Papers 200906, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  2. Lei Zhang & David Levinson & Shanjiang Zhu, 2007. "Agent-Based Model of Price Competition and Product Differentiation on Congested Networks," Working Papers 200809, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  3. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Governance choice on a serial network," Working Papers 200904, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  4. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "Economics of Road Network Ownership," Working Papers 200908, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  5. Michael Iacono & David Levinson & Ahmed El-Geneidy, 2007. "Models of Transportation and Land Use Change: A Guide to the Territory," Working Papers 200805, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

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