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Subsidisation of Urban Public Transport and the Mohring Effect

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  • Peran van Reeven

Abstract

Mohring (1972) argues that urban public transport exhibits considerable economies of scale if users' waiting time is included in the cost function. The implication is that without subsidisation, frequencies will be lower than socially optimal. This paper analyses this argument and shows that economies of scale do not constitute a justification for general subsidisation of urban public transport. If an operator is allowed to take the demand effect of their pricing and frequency decisions into account, then the profit-maximising frequency is shown to be at least as high as the welfare-maximising frequency. © 2008 LSE and the University of Bath

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  • Peran van Reeven, 2008. "Subsidisation of Urban Public Transport and the Mohring Effect," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 42(2), pages 349-359, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:42:y:2008:i:2:p:349-359
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    Cited by:

    1. Angela Stefania Bergantino & Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Vinella, Annalisa, 2012. "Targeted policy design in transportation: the case of the ferry market," Working Papers 12_5, SIET Società Italiana di Economia dei Trasporti e della Logistica, revised 2012.
    2. Zhang, Fangni & Yang, Hai & Liu, Wei, 2014. "The Downs–Thomson Paradox with responsive transit service," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 244-263.
    3. Bar-Yosef, Asaf & Martens, Karel & Benenson, Itzhak, 2013. "A model of the vicious cycle of a bus line," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 37-50.
    4. Vladimir A. Karamychev & Peran van Reeven, 2009. "A Monopolist in Public Transport: Undersupply or Oversupply?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-077/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Rojo, Marta & dell’Olio, Luigi & Gonzalo-Orden, Hernán & Ibeas, Ángel, 2015. "Inclusion of quality criteria in public bus service contracts in metropolitan areas," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 52-63.
    6. Nilsson, Jan-Eric & Ahlberg , Joakim & Pyddoke, Roger, 2014. "Optimal supply of public transport: subsidising production or consumption or both?," Working papers in Transport Economics 2014:27, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    7. Albalate, Daniel & Bel, Germà, 2010. "What shapes local public transportation in Europe? Economics, mobility, institutions, and geography," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 775-790, September.
    8. Anna Černá, 2012. "Economic and Social Harmonization of Sustainable Public Transport," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(1), pages 83-100.
    9. K. Obeng, 2011. "Indirect production function and the output effect of public transit subsidies," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 191-214, March.
    10. Ljungberg, Anders, 2016. "Marginal cost-pricing in the Swedish transport sector – An efficient and sustainable way of funding local and regional public transport in the future?," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 159-166.
    11. Sun, Yanshuo & Guo, Qianwen & Schonfeld, Paul & Li, Zhongfei, 2016. "Implications of the cost of public funds in public transit subsidization and regulation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 236-250.
    12. Andrés Gómez-Lobo, 2011. "Monopoly, subsidies and the Mohring effect: A synthesis and an extension," Working Papers wp336, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    13. Angela Stefania Bergantino & Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Vinella, Annalisa, 2012. "Targeted policy design in transportation: the case of the ferry market," Working Papers 1205, SIET Società Italiana di Economia dei Trasporti e della Logistica, revised 2012.
    14. repec:eee:transb:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:733-756 is not listed on IDEAS

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