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Marginal Social Cost Pricing on a Transportation Network: Comparison of Second-Best Policies

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  • Safirova, Elena A.

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Houde, Sébastien
  • Harrington, Winston

Abstract

In this paper we evaluate and compare long-run economic effects of six road-pricing schemes aimed at internalizing social costs of transportation. In order to conduct this analysis, we employ a spatially disaggregated general equilibrium model of a regional economy that incorporates decisions of residents, firms, and developers, integrated with a spatially-disaggregated strategic transportation planning model that features mode, time period, and route choice. The model is calibrated to the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. We compare two social cost functions - one restricted to congestion alone and another that accounts for other external effects of transportation. We find that when the ultimate policy goal is a reduction in the complete set of motor vehicle externalities, cordon-like policies and variable-toll policies lose some attractiveness compared to policies based primarily on mileage. We also find that full social cost pricing requires very high toll levels and therefore is bound to be controversial.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-07-52.

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Date of creation: 09 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-07-52

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Related research

Keywords: traffic congestion; social cost pricing; land use; welfare analysis; road pricing; general equilibrium; simulation; Washington DC;

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References

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  1. Anas, Alex & Rhee, Hyok-Joo, 2006. "Curbing excess sprawl with congestion tolls and urban boundaries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 510-541, July.
  2. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Lipman, D. Abram & Harrington, Winston & Bagliano, Andrew D., 2006. "Congestion Pricing: Long-Term Economic and Land-Use Effects," Discussion Papers dp-06-37, Resources For the Future.
  3. Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.
  4. Santos, G. & Rojey, L. & Newbery, D.M., 2000. "The Environmental Benefits from Road Pricing," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0020, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Safirova, Elena & Gillingham, Kenneth, 2003. "Measuring Marginal Congestion Costs of Urban Transportation: Do Networks Matter?," Discussion Papers dp-03-56, Resources For the Future.
  6. Small, K.A. & Kazimi, C., 1994. "On the Costs of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicules," Papers 94-95-3, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  7. Parry, Ian W.H. & Walls, Margaret & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Automobile Externalities and Policies," Discussion Papers dp-06-26, Resources For the Future.
  8. Stef Proost & Kurt Van Dender, 2003. "Marginal Social Cost Pricing for all Transport modes and the effects of modal budget constraints," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0311, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  9. Murphy, James & Delucchi, Mark, 1998. "A Review of the Literature on the Social Cost of Motor Vehicle Use in the United States," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt1tk1s936, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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Cited by:
  1. Parry, Ian W.H. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2008. "How Should Passenger Travel in Mexico City Be Priced?," Discussion Papers dp-08-17, Resources For the Future.

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