IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/itaxpf/v23y2016i5d10.1007_s10797-015-9388-6.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The political economy of pricing and capacity decisions for congestible local public goods in a federal state

Author

Listed:
  • Bruno Borger

    () (University of Antwerp)

  • Stef Proost

    () (KULeuven)

Abstract

Abstract This paper studies the political economy of pricing and investment for excludable and congestible public goods in a federal state. Although the model applies to many local congestible public facilities (such as libraries, museums and public swimming facilities), our main motivation is the problem of providing and pricing road infrastructure in federal states. The two-region model we develop allows for spill-overs between regions, it takes into account congestion, and it captures demand heterogeneity both between and within regions. Regional decisions are taken by majority voting; federal decisions are taken by a minimum winning coalition in a legislature of regionally elected representatives. We have the following results. First, when users form the majority in at least one region, decentralized decision making performs certainly better than centralized decision making if spill-overs are not too large. Centralized decisions may yield higher welfare than decentralization only if users have a large majority and the infrastructure in a given region is intensively used by both local and outside users. Second, if non-users form a majority in both regions, centralized decision making and decentralized decision making yield the same socially undesirable outcome, with prices that are much too high. Third, the performance of decentralized supply is strongly enhanced by local self-financing rules; this prevents potential exploitation of users within regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Borger & Stef Proost, 2016. "The political economy of pricing and capacity decisions for congestible local public goods in a federal state," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 934-959, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:23:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10797-015-9388-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-015-9388-6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10797-015-9388-6
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brueckner, Jan K. & Selod, Harris, 2006. "The political economy of urban transport-system choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 983-1005, August.
    2. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    3. Stef Proost & Fay Dunkerley & Saskia Loo & Nicole Adler & Johannes Bröcker & Artem Korzhenevych, 2014. "Do the selected Trans European transport investments pass the cost benefit test?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 107-132, January.
    4. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
    5. repec:dgr:uvatin:20070060 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Hikaru Ogawa & David E. Wildasin, 2009. "Think Locally, Act Locally: Spillovers, Spillbacks, and Efficient Decentralized Policymaking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1206-1217, September.
    8. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Governance choice on a serial network," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 189-212, October.
    9. Craig, Steven G., 1987. "The impact of congestion on local public good production," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 331-353, April.
    10. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2012. "A political economy model of road pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 79-92.
    11. De Borger, B. & Dunkerley, F. & Proost, S., 2007. "Strategic investment and pricing decisions in a congested transport corridor," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 294-316, September.
    12. De Borger, B. & Proost, S. & Van Dender, K., 2005. "Congestion and tax competition in a parallel network," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2013-2040, November.
    13. Kidokoro, Yukihiro, 2006. "Benefit estimation of transport projects--a representative consumer approach," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 521-542, August.
    14. Saskia van der Loo & Stef Proost, 2013. "The European Road Pricing Game: How to Enforce Optimal Pricing in High-transit Countries under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 47(3), pages 399-418, September.
    15. 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.
    16. Russo, Antonio, 2013. "Voting on road congestion policy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 707-724.
    17. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2005. "Political economy of commuting subsidies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 478-499, May.
    18. Calthrop, Edward & De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2010. "Cost-benefit analysis of transport investments in distorted economies," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 850-869, August.
    19. de Palma, André & Lindsey, Robin, 2007. "Chapter 2 Transport user charges and cost recovery," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 29-57, January.
    20. Jan K. Brueckner, 2013. "Efficiency of Decentralized Road Investment and Pricing in a Multi-Jurisdictional City with Spillovers," CESifo Working Paper Series 4384, CESifo Group Munich.
    21. Lorz, Oliver & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "On the endogenous allocation of decision powers in federal structures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 242-257, March.
    22. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    23. Redoano, Michela & Scharf, Kimberly A., 2004. "The political economy of policy centralization: direct versus representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 799-817, March.
    24. Glazer, Amihai, 1989. "Politics and the Choice of Durability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1207-1213, December.
    25. Eva Gutiérrez‐i‐Puigarnau & Jos N. Van Ommeren, 2011. "Welfare Effects Of Distortionary Fringe Benefits Taxation: The Case Of Employer‐Provided Cars," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1105-1122, November.
    26. David M. Levinson, 2002. "Financing Transportation Networks," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2308, December.
    27. Knight, Brian, 2004. "Parochial interests and the centralized provision of local public goods: evidence from congressional voting on transportation projects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 845-866, March.
    28. 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.
    29. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    30. King, David & Manville, Michael & Shoup, Donald, 2007. "The political calculus of congestion pricing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 111-123, March.
    31. Hansjörg Blöchliger, 2008. "Market Mechanisms in Public Service Provision," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 626, OECD Publishing.
    32. Hulten, Charles R. & Schwab, Robert M., 1997. "A fiscal federalism approach to infrastructure policy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 139-159, April.
    33. Joanis, Marcelin, 2014. "Shared accountability and partial decentralization in local public good provision," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 28-37.
    34. John William Hatfield & Gerard Padró i Miquel, 2012. "A Political Economy Theory Of Partial Decentralization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 605-633, May.
    35. Ross Hickey, 2013. "Bicameral bargaining and federation formation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 217-241, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2015. "The political economy of public transport pricing and supply decisions," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 95-109.
    2. Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Edward L. Glaeser, 2017. "The political economy of transportation investment," Economics Working Papers 1556, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2017.
    3. Fung, Chau Man & Proost, Stef, 2017. "Can we decentralize transport taxes and infrastructure supply?," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 1-19.
    4. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2016. "Can we leave road pricing to the regions? -The role of institutional constraints," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 208-222.
    5. repec:eee:ecotra:v:13:y:2018:i:c:p:36-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Brueckner, Jan K., 2014. "Cordon tolling in a city with congested bridges," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 235-242.
    7. repec:bla:presci:v:96:y:2017:i:2:p:401-422 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:ecotra:v:13:y:2018:i:c:p:4-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Stef Proost & Jonas Westin, 2017. "Race to the top in traffic calming," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 401-422, June.
    10. repec:eee:juecon:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:45-56 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Congestible local public goods; Pricing; Capacity decisions; Fiscal federalism;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:23:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10797-015-9388-6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.