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Cost recovery from congestion tolls with long-run uncertainty

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  • Lindsey, Robin
  • de Palma, André

Abstract

According to the Cost Recovery Theorem the revenues from optimal congestion tolls pay for the capacity costs of an optimal-sized facility if capacity is perfectly divisible, and if user costs and capacity costs have constant scale economies. This paper extends the theorem to long-run uncertainty about investment costs, user costs, and demand. It proves that if constant scale economies hold at all times and in all states, and if the toll can be varied freely over time and by state, then expected discounted congestion toll revenues cover expected discounted investment costs over a facility׳s lifetime. If the marginal cost of investment is constant and investment is reversible, expected cost recovery also holds for each investment. If demand is relatively price inelastic, cost recovery is sensitive to estimated initial demand and estimated growth rate of demand. Natural variability in demand can result in substantial surpluses or deficits over a facility׳s lifetime.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindsey, Robin & de Palma, André, 2014. "Cost recovery from congestion tolls with long-run uncertainty," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 119-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecotra:v:3:y:2014:i:2:p:119-132
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecotra.2014.01.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xinying Fu & Vincent A.C. van den Berg & Erik T. Verhoef, 2017. "Private Road Supply in Networks with Heterogeneous Users," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-025/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 12 Dec 2017.
    2. Xinying Fu & Vincent van den Berg & Erik T. Verhoef, 2015. "Private Road Networks with Uncertain Demand," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-092/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 28 Nov 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Congestion pricing; Cost recovery; Road capacity; Cost uncertainty; Demand uncertainty; Irreversible investment;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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