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Regulating concessions of toll motorways: An empirical study on fixed vs. variable term contracts

  • Albalate, Daniel
  • Bel, Germà

Recent theoretical developments on concession contracts for long term infrastructure projects under uncertain demand show the benefits of allowing for flexible term contracts rather than fixing a rigid term. This study presents a simulation to compare both alternatives by using real data from the oldest Spanish toll motorways. For this purpose, we analyze how well the flexible term would have performed instead of the fixed length actually established. Our results show a huge reduction of the term of concession that would have dramatically decreased the firm's benefits and the user's overpayment due to the internalization of an unexpected traffic increase.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 43 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 219-229

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:43:y:2009:i:2:p:219-229
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  1. Antonio Estache & Ginés de Rus, 2000. "Privatization and Regulation of Transport Infrastructures: Guidelines for Policymakers and Regulators," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44116, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Ubbels, Barry & Verhoef, Erik T., 2008. "Auctioning concessions for private roads," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-172, January.
  3. Chen, Anthony & Subprasom, Kitti, 2007. "Analysis of regulation and policy of private toll roads in a build-operate-transfer scheme under demand uncertainty," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 537-558, July.
  4. Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2001. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 993-1020, October.
  5. Hinojosa, Sergio & Gomez-Lobo, Andres, 2000. "Broad roads in a thin country - infrastructure concessions in Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2279, The World Bank.
  6. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
  7. Nombela, Gustavo & de Rus, Ginés, 2004. "Flexible-term contracts for road franchising," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 163-179, March.
  8. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2003. "Privatizing Highways in Latin America: Is It Possible to Fix What Went Wrong?," Working Papers 866, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  9. Robinson, James A & Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "White Elephants," CEPR Discussion Papers 3459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Bel, Germi & Fageda, Xavier, 2005. "Is a Mixed Funding Model for the Highway Network Sustainable Over Time The Spanish Case," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 187-203, January.
  11. Holgui­n-Veras, Jose & Cetin, Mecit & Xia, Shuwen, 2006. "A comparative analysis of US toll policy," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 852-871, December.
  12. Engel, Eduardo & Fischer, Ronald & Galetovic, Alexander, 1997. "Highway Franchising: Pitfalls and Opportunities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 68-72, May.
  13. José M. Vassallo, 2006. "Traffic Risk Mitigation in Highway Concession Projects: The Experience of Chile," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 40(3), pages 359-381, September.
  14. J. Luis Guasch, 2004. "Granting and Renegotiating Infrastructure Concessions : Doing it Right," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15024.
  15. Ginés de Rus & Manuel Romero, 2004. "Private financing of roads and optimal pricing: Is it possible to get both?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 485-497, 09.
  16. Nakamura, Katsuhiko & Kockelman, Kara Maria, 2002. "Congestion pricing and roadspace rationing: an application to the San Francisco Bay Bridge corridor," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 403-417, June.
  17. Daniel Albalate & Germa Bel & Xavier Fageda, 2007. "Privatization and regulation of toll motorways in europe," IREA Working Papers 200704, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Mar 2007.
  18. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2005. "Congestion pricing on a road network: A study using the dynamic equilibrium simulator METROPOLIS," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 588-611.
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