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FAR regulations and unpriced transport congestion


  • Pines, David
  • Kono, Tatsuhito


Using a fully closed monocentric urban setup with unpriced transport congestion, this paper discusses a second best allocation implemented by spatially-variable excise subsidies, or taxes, on housing and the possibility of replacing it by floor area ratio (FAR) regulations. It turns out that the marginal cost exceeds the demand price (bid rent) of housing close to the city center and is exceeded by it close to the boundary. In both cases, the excess burden of the deviations from marginal cost pricing, either by fiscal or zoning instruments, is the cost of reducing the excess burden of unpriced transport congestion. Efficient deviation from marginal cost pricing requires that any marginal (in terms of the movers' size) residential relocation does not change the aggregate excess burden of both distortions. The present study also shows that FAR optimal regulations render urban growth boundary (UGB) redundant but it cannot always replace the fiscal instruments for achieving the second-best utility.

Suggested Citation

  • Pines, David & Kono, Tatsuhito, 2012. "FAR regulations and unpriced transport congestion," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 931-937.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:42:y:2012:i:6:p:931-937 DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2012.01.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fujita,Masahisa, 1991. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521396455, March.
    2. Arnott, Richard J., 1979. "Unpriced transport congestion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 294-316, October.
    3. Anas, Alex & Rhee, Hyok-Joo, 2007. "When are urban growth boundaries not second-best policies to congestion tolls?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 263-286, March.
    4. Arnott, Richard J & MacKinnon, James G, 1978. "Market and Shadow Land Rents with Congestion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 588-600, September.
    5. Harberger, Arnold C, 1971. "Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 785-797, September.
    6. Wheaton, William C., 1998. "Land Use and Density in Cities with Congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 258-272, March.
    7. Kanemoto, Yoshitsugu, 1977. "Cost-benefit analysis and the second best land use for transportation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 483-503, October.
    8. Brueckner, Jan K., 1983. "The economics of urban yard space: An "implicit-market" model for housing attributes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 216-234, March.
    9. Mun, Se-il & Konishi, Ko-ji & Yoshikawa, Kazuhiro, 2003. "Optimal cordon pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 21-38, July.
    10. Anas, Alex & Pines, David, 2008. "Anti-sprawl policies in a system of congested cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 408-423, September.
    11. Tatsuhito Kono & Takayuki Kaneko & Hisa Morisugi, 2010. "Necessity of minimum floor area ratio regulation: a second-best policy," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(3), pages 523-539, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Takayama, Yuki & Kuwahara, Masao, 2016. "Bottleneck congestion and residential location of heterogeneous commuters," MPRA Paper 68940, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ioannis Tikoudis & Erik T. Verhoef & Jos N. van Ommeren, 2015. "Second-best Urban Tolls in a Monocentric City with Housing Market Regulations," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-006/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Jyh-Bang Jou & Tan (Charlene) Lee, 2015. "How Do Density Ceiling Controls Affect Housing Prices and Urban Boundaries?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 219-241, February.
    4. Zhang, Wenjia & Kockelman, Kara M., 2016. "Congestion pricing effects on firm and household location choices in monocentric and polycentric cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-12.
    5. Rhee, Hyok-Joo & Yu, Sanggyun & Hirte, Georg, 2014. "Zoning in cities with traffic congestion and agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 82-93.

    More about this item


    FAR regulation; Second-best; Transport congestion;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations


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