Road Traffic Congestion and Public Information: An Experimental Investigation
This paper reports laboratory experiments designed to study the impact of public information about past departure rates on congestion levels and travel costs. Our design is based on a discrete version of Arnott et al.'s (1990) bottleneck model. In all treatments, congestion occurs and the observed travel costs are quite similar to the predicted ones. Subjects' capacity to coordinate is not affected by the availability of public information on past departure rates, by the number of drivers or by the relative cost of delay. This seemingly absence of treatment effects is confirmed by our finding that a parameter-free reinforcement learning model best characterises individual behaviour. © 2008 LSE and the University of Bath
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