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On revenue recycling and the welfare effects of second-best congestion pricing in a monocentric city

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  • Tikoudis, Ioannis
  • Verhoef, Erik T.
  • van Ommeren, Jos N.

Abstract

This paper examines congestion taxes in a monocentric city with pre-existing labor taxation. When road toll revenue is used to finance labor tax cuts, 35% of the optimal road tax in our numerical model does not reflect marginal external congestion costs, but rather functions as a Ramsey–Mirrlees tax, i.e. an efficiency enhancing mechanism allowing for an indirect spatial differentiation of the labor tax. This adds a quite different motivation to road pricing, since welfare gains can be produced even in absence of congestion. We find that the optimal road tax is non-monotonic across space, reflecting the different impacts of labor supply elasticity and marginal utility of income, which both vary over space. The relative efficiencies of some archetype second-best pricing schemes (cordon toll, flat kilometer tax) are high (84% and 70% respectively). When road toll revenue is recycled lump-sum, the optimal toll lies below its Pigouvian level. Extensions in a bimodal framework show that the optimality of using road toll revenue to subsidize public transport depends on the initial inefficiency in public transport pricing.

Suggested Citation

  • Tikoudis, Ioannis & Verhoef, Erik T. & van Ommeren, Jos N., 2015. "On revenue recycling and the welfare effects of second-best congestion pricing in a monocentric city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 32-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:89:y:2015:i:c:p:32-47
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2015.06.004
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    1. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9742-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schindler, Mirjam & Caruso, Geoffrey & Picard, Pierre, 2017. "Equilibrium and first-best city with endogenous exposure to local air pollution from traffic," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 12-23.
    3. De Borger, Bruno & Russo, Antonio, 2018. "The political economy of cordon tolls," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 133-148.
    4. repec:eee:transb:v:117:y:2018:i:pa:p:342-359 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tikoudis, Ioannis & Verhoef, Erik T. & van Ommeren, Jos N., 2018. "Second-best urban tolls in a monocentric city with housing market regulations," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 117(PA), pages 342-359.
    6. Ioannis Tikoudis, 2015. "Congestion Pricing in Urban Polycentric Networks with Distorted Labor Markets: A Spatial General Equilibrium Model for the Area Randstad," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-085/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 26 Oct 2017.
    7. repec:eee:regeco:v:73:y:2018:i:c:p:217-236 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Second-best road pricing; Revenue recycling; Double-dividend; Monocentric city;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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