Give or take? Rewards versus charges for a congested bottleneck
This paper analyzes the possibilities to relieve traffic congestion using subsidies instead of Pigouvian taxes, as well as revenue-neutral combinations of rewards and taxes (‘feebates’). The model considers a Vickrey–ADL model of bottleneck congestion with endogenous scheduling. With inelastic demand, a fine (time-varying) reward is found to be equivalent to a fine toll, and to a continuum of combinations of time-varying tolls and rewards, including fine feebates. When demand is price-sensitive, a reward becomes less attractive from the efficiency viewpoint, because it attracts additional users to the congested bottleneck. As a result, both the second-best optimal fraction of rewarded travelers in the scheme, and the relative efficiency that can be achieved with it, decrease when demand becomes more elastic. Our analytical and simulation results for coarse schemes reveal that a coarse reward is less effective than a coarse feebate, which is itself less effective than a coarse toll. The most efficient coarse system is the step toll, which is also allowed to be positive in the fringes of the peak. Despite the smaller efficiency gains, rewards and feebates may be attractive to use in circumstances where public and political acceptability of tolling is especially low, so that its implementation is unlikely, including the temporary use of price incentives in case of road works and large-scale events.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Chu, Xuehao, 1999. "Alternative congestion pricing schedules," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 697-722, November.
- Richard Arnott & Andre de Palma & Robin Lindsey, 1985.
"Economics of a Bottleneck,"
636, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Daganzo, Carlos F., 1995. "A pareto optimum congestion reduction scheme," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 139-154, April.
- Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
- E Verhoef & P Nijkamp & P Rietveld, 1997. "Tradeable permits: their potential in the regulation of road transport externalities," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(4), pages 527-548, July.
- Laih, Chen-Hsiu, 1994. "Queueing at a bottleneck with single- and multi-step tolls," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 197-208, May.
- Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-79, June.
- Bliemer, Michiel C.J. & van Amelsfort, Dirk H., 2010. "Rewarding instead of charging road users: a model case study investigating effects on traffic conditions," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 44, pages 23-40.
- Braid, Ralph M., 1996. "Peak-Load Pricing of a Transportation Route with an Unpriced Substitute," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 179-197, September.
- Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1993. "A Structural Model of Peak-Period Congestion: A Traffic Bottleneck with Elastic Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 161-79, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:42:y:2012:i:1:p:166-176. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.