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Voting on road congestion policy

  • Russo, Antonio

This paper studies the political economy of urban traffic policy. A city council and a regional government (representing city and suburbs) decide respectively on parking fees and a road toll. Both charges are below the optimum when median voters in city and suburbs prefer cars to public transport sufficiently more than the average. Even if the city government would set an optimal road toll, the regional government blocks it when the median suburban voter prefers cars strongly enough. Letting the city control parking and road pricing may therefore increase chances of adoption of the latter. However, if the city controls parking and the region road pricing, the combined charges are higher than if the city controlled them both. Hence, when voters want all charges below the optimum, the involvement of two governments may be desirable. We also find that earmarking road pricing revenues for public transport is welfare-enhancing, compared to lump-sum redistribution, only if they are topped up by extra funds granted to the city by a higher level of government.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 707-724

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:43:y:2013:i:5:p:707-724
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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  1. Parry, I. W. H., 2002. "Comparing the efficiency of alternative policies for reducing traffic congestion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 333-362, September.
  2. Winslott-Hiselius, Lena & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Vagland, Asa & Byström, Camilla, 2009. "The development of public attitudes towards the Stockholm congestion trial," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 269-282, March.
  3. Armelius, Hanna & Hultkrantz, Lars, 2006. "The politico-economic link between public transport and road pricing: An ex-ante study of the Stockholm road-pricing trial," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 162-172, March.
  4. repec:ucp:bkecon:9781884829987 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2012. "A political economy model of road pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 79-92.
  6. Marcucci, Edoardo & Marini, Marco, 2005. "Road pricing as a citizen-candidate game," MPRA Paper 29293, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. King, David & Manville, Michael & Shoup, Donald, 2007. "The political calculus of congestion pricing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 111-123, March.
  8. Ubbels, Barry & Verhoef, Erik T., 2008. "Governmental competition in road charging and capacity choice," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 174-190, March.
  9. Andre de Palma & Dunkerley Fay, 2006. "Trip Chaining: Who Wins Who Loses?," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0605, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  10. Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Eva & van Ommeren, Jos N., 2010. "Labour supply and commuting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 82-89, July.
  11. Richard Arnott & Eren Inci, 2005. "An Integrated Model of Downtown Parking and Traffic Congestion," NBER Working Papers 11118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. De Borger Bruno & Dunkerley Fay & Proost Stef, 2006. "Strategic investment and pricing decisions in a congested transport corridor," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0602, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  13. 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.
  14. De Donder, Philippe & Le Breton, Michel & Peluso, Eugenio, 2010. "Majority Voting in Multidimensional Policy Spaces: Kramer-Shepsle versus Stackelberg," CEPR Discussion Papers 7646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. King, David & Manville, Michael & Shoup, Donald, 2007. "The political calculus of congestion pricing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9js9z8gz, University of California Transportation Center.
  16. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  17. Bonsall, Peter & Young, William, 2010. "Is there a case for replacing parking charges by road user charges?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 323-334, September.
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