Equilibrium at a bottleneck when long-run and short-run scheduling preferences diverge
We consider the use of a Vickrey road bottleneck in the context of repetitive scheduling choices, distinguishing between long-run and short-run scheduling preferences. The preference structure reflects that there is a distinction between the (exogenous) ‘long-run preferred arrival time’, which would be relevant if consumers were unconstrained in the scheduling of their activities, and the ‘short-run preferred arrival time’, which is the result of an adaptation of travel routines in the face of constraints caused by, in particular, time-varying congestion levels. We characterize the unpriced equilibrium, the social optimum as well as second-best situations where the availability of the pricing instruments is restricted. All of them entail a dispersed distribution of short-run preferred arrival times. We obtain the intriguing results that the dispersion is lower in the social optimum than in the unpriced equilibrium, and that the application of first-best short-run tolls does not induce efficient long-run choices of travel routines.
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Volume (Year): 57 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
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