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Congestion Tolling and Urban Spatial Structure


  • Richard Arnott

    () (Boston College)


According to the standard model of urban traffic congestion and urban spatial structure, congestion tolling results in a more concentrated city. In recent years, a new model of rush hour urban auto congestion has been developed which incorporates trip-timing decisions: the bottleneck model. In the simplest bottleneck model, optimal congestion tolling without toll revenue redistribution has no effect on trip price since the efficiency gains exactly equal the toll revenue collected. Optimal congestion tolling then has no effect on urban spatial structure. This paper formalizes this result and extends it somewhat.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Arnott, 1997. "Congestion Tolling and Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 389., Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:389

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Arnott & Marvin Kraus, 2003. "Transport Economics," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 553, Boston College Department of Economics.
    2. Richard Arnott & André de Palma & Robin Lindsey, 1993. "Properties of Dynamic Traffic Equilibrium Involving Bottlenecks, Including a Paradox and Metering," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(2), pages 148-160, May.
    3. Kenneth A. Small & Xuehao Chu, 2003. "Hypercongestion," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 319-352, September.
    4. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
    5. Kanemoto, Yoshitsugu, 1980. "Theories of urban externalities," MPRA Paper 24614, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Richard Arnott & Andre de Palma & Robin Lindsey, 1993. "The Welfare Effects Of Congestion Tolls With Heterogeneous Commuters," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 231, Boston College Department of Economics.
    7. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1993. "A Structural Model of Peak-Period Congestion: A Traffic Bottleneck with Elastic Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 161-179, March.
    8. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Curtis, Carey, 2008. "Planning for sustainable accessibility: The implementation challenge," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 104-112, March.

    More about this item


    congestion tolling; urban spatial structure; bottleneck model;

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise


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