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Product Differentiation on Roads

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  • Erik T. Verhoef
  • Kenneth A. Small

Abstract

The authors explore the properties of various types of public and private pricing on a congested road network, with heterogeneous users, and allowing for elastic demand. The network allows them to model certain features of real-world significance: pricing restrictions on either complementary or substitute links, as well as interactions between different user groups on shared links. They find that revenue-maximising pricing is much less efficient than welfare-maximising pricing, but this difference is mitigated by the product differentiation made possible with heterogeneous users. Ignoring heterogeneity causes the welfare benefits of a policy of current interest, namely second-best pricing of one of two parallel links, to be dramatically underestimated. Unlike first-best policies, secondbest policies are in danger of losing much of their potential effectiveness if heterogeneity is ignored when setting toll levels. © The London School of Economics and the University of Bath 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Erik T. Verhoef & Kenneth A. Small, 2004. "Product Differentiation on Roads," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 38(1), pages 127-156, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:38:y:2004:i:1:p:127-156
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    Cited by:

    1. David, Quentin & Foucart, Renaud, 2014. "Modal choice and optimal congestion," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 12-20.
    2. Kenneth A. Small, 2009. "Private Provision of Highways: Economic Issues," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 11-31, July.
    3. Andre De Palma & Moez Kilani & Robin Lindsey, 2006. "The Economics of Truck Toll Lanes," ERSA conference papers ersa06p896, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Jang, Kitae & Chung, Koohong & Yeo, Hwasoo, 2014. "A dynamic pricing strategy for high occupancy toll lanes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 69-80.
    5. Wichiensin, Muanmas & Bell, Michael G.H. & Yang, Hai, 2007. "Impact of congestion charging on the transit market: An inter-modal equilibrium model," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 703-713, August.
    6. repec:eee:trapol:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:99-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Leonid Engelson & Ida Kristoffersson & Mohammad Saifuzzaman & André De Palma & Kiarash Motamedi, 2013. "Comparison of two dynamic transportation models: The case of Stockholm congestion charging," Working Papers hal-00779285, HAL.
    8. Kraus, Marvin, 2012. "Road pricing with optimal mass transit," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 81-86.
    9. André de Palma & Robin Lindsey & Fang Wu, 2008. "Private Operators and Time-of-Day Tolling on a Congested Road Network," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 42(3), pages 397-433, September.
    10. Kenneth A. Small & Clifford Winston & Jia Yan, 2005. "Differentiated Road Pricing, Express Lanes and Carpools: Exploiting Heterogeneous Preferences in Policy Design," Working Papers 050616, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2006.
    11. Ian W.H. Parry, 2009. "Pricing Urban Congestion," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 461-484, September.
    12. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas, 2014. "Experiences from the Swedish Value of Time study," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 144-158.
    13. Börjesson, Maria & Kristoffersson, Ida, 2014. "Assessing the welfare effects of congestion charges in a real world setting," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 339-355.
    14. André De Palma & Robin Lindsey, 2009. "Traffic Congestion Pricing Methods and Technologies," Working Papers hal-00414526, HAL.
    15. Anderstig, Christer & Berglund, Svante & Eliasson, Jonas & Andersson, Matts & Pyddoke, Roger, 2012. "Congestion charges and labour market imperfections: “Wider economic benefits” or “losses”?," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:4, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    16. Jonathan Leape, 2006. "The London Congestion Charge," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 157-176, Fall.
    17. Tirachini, Alejandro & Hensher, David A. & Rose, John M., 2014. "Multimodal pricing and optimal design of urban public transport: The interplay between traffic congestion and bus crowding," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 33-54.
    18. Richard J. Arnott, 2005. "City Tolls – One Element of an Effective Policy Cocktail," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(3), pages 5-11, November.
    19. Diaz, A. & Proost, S., 2014. "Second-best urban tolling with distributive concerns," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 257-269.
    20. Nie, Yu (Marco), 2017. "On the potential remedies for license plate rationing," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 37-50.
    21. Börjesson, Maria & Kristoffersson, Ida, 2012. "Estimating welfare effects of congestion charges in real world settings," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:13, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).

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