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Should subsidies to urban passenger transport be increased? A spatial CGE analysis for a German metropolitan area

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  • Tscharaktschiew, Stefan
  • Hirte, Georg

Abstract

In many countries passenger transport is significantly subsidized in a variety of ways for various reasons. The objective of this paper is to examine efficiency, distributional, environmental (CO2emissions) and spatial effects of increasing different kinds of passenger transport subsidies discriminating between household types, travel purposes and travel modes. The effects are calculated by applying a numerical spatial general equilibrium approach calibrated to an average German metropolitan area. In extension to most studies focusing on only one kind of subsidy, we compare the effects of different transport subsidies within the same unified framework that allows to account for two features not yet considered simultaneously in studies on transport subsidies: endogenous labor supply and location decisions. Furthermore, congestion, travel mode choice, travel related CO2 emissions and institutional details regarding the tax system in Germany are taken into account. The results suggest that optimal subsidy levels are either small or even zero. While subsidizing public transport is welfare enhancing, subsidies to urban road traffic reduce aggregate urban welfare. Concerning the latter it is shown that making investments in urban road infrastructure capacity or reducing gasoline taxes may even be harmful to residents using predominantly automobile. In contrast, pure commuting subsidies hardly affect aggregate urban welfare, but distributional effects are substantial. All policies cause suburbanization of city residents and (except for subsidizing public transport) contribute to urban sprawl by raising the spatial imbalance of residences and jobs but the effect is relatively small. In addition, the policies induce a very differentiated pattern regarding distributional effects, benefits of landowners and environmental effects.

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  • Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2012. "Should subsidies to urban passenger transport be increased? A spatial CGE analysis for a German metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 285-309.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:46:y:2012:i:2:p:285-309
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2011.09.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Di & Liu, Zhiyuan & Liu, Pan & Chen, Jun, 2016. "Optimal transit fare and service frequency of a nonlinear origin-destination based fare structure," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-19.
    2. Wang, Wei (Walker) & Wang, David Z.W. & Zhang, Fangni & Sun, Huijun & Zhang, Wenyi & Wu, Jianjun, 2017. "Overcoming the Downs-Thomson Paradox by transit subsidy policies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 126-147.
    3. Hirte, Georg & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2011. "Income tax deduction of commuting expenses and tax funding in an urban CGE study: the case of German cities," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 02/11, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    4. Dröes, Martijn I. & Rietveld, Piet, 2015. "Rail-based public transport and urban spatial structure: The interplay between network design, congestion and urban form," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 81(P2), pages 421-439.
    5. Nitzsche, Eric & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2013. "Efficiency of speed limits in cities: A spatial computable general equilibrium assessment," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 23-48.
    6. Georg Hirte & Stefan Tscharaktschiew, 2012. "The optimal subsidy on electric vehicles in a metropolitan area - a SCGE study for Germany," ERSA conference papers ersa12p324, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Drevs, Florian & Tscheulin, Dieter K. & Lindenmeier, Jörg & Renner, Simone, 2014. "Crowding-in or crowding out: An empirical analysis on the effect of subsidies on individual willingness-to-pay for public transportation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 250-261.
    8. Georg Hirte & Stefan Tscharaktschiew, 2015. "Optimal Fuel Taxes and Heterogeneity of Cities," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 35(2), pages 173-209, October.
    9. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2014. "Shedding light on the appropriateness of the (high) gasoline tax level in Germany," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 189-210.
    10. repec:eee:transb:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:283-294 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Evangelinos, Christos, 2013. "Interessengruppen und Preissetzung im Verkehr," Discussion Papers 2/2013, Technische Universität Dresden, "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, Institute of Transport and Economics.
    12. Hirte, Georg & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2013. "The optimal subsidy on electric vehicles in German metropolitan areas: A spatial general equilibrium analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 515-528.
    13. Hong, Sungjun & Chung, Yanghon & Kim, Jongwook & Chun, Dongphil, 2016. "Analysis on the level of contribution to the national greenhouse gas reduction target in Korean transportation sector using LEAP model," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 549-559.
    14. Martijn I. Dröes & Piet Rietveld†, 2014. "The Effect of Railway Travel on Urban Spatial Structure," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-050/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    15. Hirte, Georg & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2013. "Income tax deduction of commuting expenses in an urban CGE study: The case of German cities," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 11-27.
    16. Georg Hirte & Stefan Tscharaktschiew, 2015. "Why not to choose the most convenient labor supply model? The impact of labor supply modeling on policy evaluation," ERSA conference papers ersa15p303, European Regional Science Association.
    17. Sun, Yanshuo & Guo, Qianwen & Schonfeld, Paul & Li, Zhongfei, 2016. "Implications of the cost of public funds in public transit subsidization and regulation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 236-250.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Urban general equilibrium model; Transport policy; Transport subsidy; Commuting subsidy;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies

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