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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, Ian, 2000. "Comparing the Efficiency of Alternative Policies for Reducing Traffic Congestion," Discussion Papers dp-00-28, Resources For the Future.
  2. 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.
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  4. Philippe De Donder & Michel Le Breton & Eugenio Peluso, 2012. "Majority Voting in Multidimensional Policy Spaces: Kramer–Shepsle versus Stackelberg," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(6), pages 879-909, December.
  5. Marcucci, Edoardo & Marini, Marco A. & Ticchi, Davide, 2005. "Road pricing as a citizen-candidate game," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 31, pages 28-45.
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  10. 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.
  11. Arnott, Richard & Inci, Eren, 2006. "An integrated model of downtown parking and traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 418-442, November.
  12. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
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  14. 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.
  15. Bruno DE BORGER & Stef PROOST, 2010. "A political economy model of road pricing," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.20, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  16. 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.
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