Price-Induced Distortions in Urban Highway Investment
This paper compares "first-best" highway investment when congestion pricing is in effect with "second-best" investment when such pricing is not used. The paper's main result is that as the pricing of roads falls below social costs, "second-best" investment expands to accommodate demand, but not by nearly so much as would be called for under first-best cost-benefit criteria. Under second-best investment, the level of time congestion is allowed to rise to compensate for the absence of monetary congestion pricing. There is some suggestion that overinvestment in American highways could have occurred from following first-best investment criteria when second-best criteria were appropriate.
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Volume (Year): 9 (1978)
Issue (Month): 2 (Autumn)
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