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The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities

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  • Gilles Duranton
  • Matthew A. Turner

Abstract

Abstract: We investigate the relationship between interstate highways and highway vehicle kilometers traveled (vkt) in us cities. We find that vkt increases proportionately to highways and identify three important sources for this extra vkt: an increase in driving by current residents; an increase in transportation intensive production activity; and an inflow of new residents. The provision of public transportation has no impact on vkt. We also estimate the aggregate city level demand for vkt and find it to be very elastic. We conclude that an increased provision of roads or public transit is unlikely to relieve congestion and that the current provision of roads exceeds the optimum given the absence of congestion pricing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-370.

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Length: 70 pages
Date of creation: 08 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-370

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Keywords: highways; vehiclekilometers traveled; public transport; congestion.;

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References

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  1. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2007. "Urban growth and transportation," Working Papers tecipa-305, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422, February.
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  22. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2007. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 13535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Robert Cervero & Mark Hansen, 2002. "Induced Travel Demand and Induced Road Investment: A Simultaneous Equation Analysis," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(3), pages 469-490, September.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Why new roads do not alleviate congestion
    by Olaf Storbeck in Economics Intelligence on 2011-10-24 21:32:08
  2. Wer Stra�en sät, wird Staus ernten
    by Olaf Storbeck in Handelsblog on 2011-10-19 14:26:40
  3. I-405 Expansion in LA Offers a Case Study of the Fundamental Law of Traffic Congestion
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-01-07 01:19:00
  4. Can Improvements in Atlanta's Public Transit Infrastructure Reduce Road Congestion?
    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-07-15 22:15:00
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