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Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Taxi Deregulation?

  • Adrian T. Moore
  • Ted Balaker
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    Taxicabs are an important part of the urban transportation system, and in most communities are heavily regulated. In the past 25 years many cities have deregulated taxi markets. A substantial literature has emerged examining the merits of deregulation. Here we provide a tour of the main points of contention in the scholarly research on the desirability of taxi deregulation. We find that most economic studies of taxi deregulation find it to be on net beneficial. We mined the literature for economists’ judgments on taxi deregulation. The support for taxi deregulation is preponderant, but not overwhelmingly so. We suggest that the literature favorable to deregulation is richer and broader than the unfavorable literature, which disproportionately is model-building. There is wide consensus that taxi deregulation has been less impressive than advocates had hoped. A very important matter of interpretation is whether the disappointment was due to the over-estimation of what deregulation could deliver, or to deregulation not having been thoroughgoing. Another interpretative issue is whether restrictions on service originating at airports ought to be deemed intervention or contract within the nexus of property relations. Finally, there are also unresolved questions about whether the effects of deregulation have been fully accounted for.

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    Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 109-132

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    Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:3:y:2006:i:1:p:109-132
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    1. Cairns, Robert D. & Liston-Heyes, Catherine, 1996. "Competition and regulation in the taxi industry," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-15, January.
    2. Yang, Hai & Ye, Min & Tang, Wilson H. & Wong, S.C., 2005. "Regulating taxi services in the presence of congestion externality," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-40, January.
    3. P S Morrison, 1997. "Restructuring Effects of Deregulation: The Case of the New Zealand Taxi Industry," Environment and Planning A, SAGE Publishing, vol. 29(5), pages 913-928, May.
    4. Arnott, Richard, 1996. "Taxi Travel Should Be Subsidized," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 316-333, November.
    5. Sean D. Barrett, 2003. "Regulatory Capture, Property Rights And Taxi Deregulation: A Case Study," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 34-40, December.
    6. Kitch, Edmund W & Isaacson, Marc & Kasper, Daniel, 1971. "The Regulation of Taxicabs in Chicago," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 285-350, October.
    7. Bruce Schaller, 1999. "Elasticities for taxicab fares and service availability," Transportation, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 283-297, August.
    8. Yang, Hai & Wong, S. C. & Wong, K. I., 2002. "Demand-supply equilibrium of taxi services in a network under competition and regulation," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 799-819, November.
    9. Beesley, Michael E & Glaister, Stephen G, 1983. "Information for Regulating: The Case of Taxis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(371), pages 594-615, September.
    10. Daniel Flores-Guri, 2005. "Local Exclusive Cruising Regulation and Efficiency in Taxicab Markets," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 39(2), pages 155-166, May.
    11. P S Morrison, 1997. "Restructuring effects of deregulation: the case of the New Zealand taxi industry," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(5), pages 913-928, May.
    12. De Vany, Arthur S, 1975. "Capacity Utilization under Alternative Regulatory Restraints: An Analysis of Taxi Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 83-94, February.
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