IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How To Franchise Highways


  • Fielding, Gordon J.
  • Klein, Daniel B.


Barcelona commuters receive a monthly highway bill, without ever having stopped at a tollbooth. Cars on the Autostrada, which connects Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples, whiz past roadside electronic readers that automatically deduct credit from prepaid smartcards which are similar to the copycards familiar to library users. Electronic toll collection is now used on the Esterel-Cote d'Azur; two toll-ring systems in Norway; the Dallas North Tollway; the Oklahoma Turnpikes; and two facilities in New Orleans. Reliability and accuracy rates run as high as 99.9 per cent. Unless there is successful labour resistance, by the year 2000 electronic toll collection will be operating on every major toll facility in the United States. Stopping at tollbooths will be obsolete for all but the infrequent traveller. The advance in technology is accompanied by a shift in policy. The franchising of highway services is now under way: California has four projects in progress; Virginia, one project; and planning is in hand in many other states. Furthermore, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 will bring a tide of new projects, as it permits the commingling of federal and private funds. Different approaches to franchising have been used. This article investigates the alternatives and proposes a plan for highway franchising.

Suggested Citation

  • Fielding, Gordon J. & Klein, Daniel B., 1993. "How To Franchise Highways," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt79z9x6fs, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt79z9x6fs

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    2. Demsetz, Harold, 1971. "On the Regulation of Industry: A Reply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 356-363, March-Apr.
    3. Walter Y. Oi, 1971. "A Disneyland Dilemma: Two-Part Tariffs for a Mickey Mouse Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(1), pages 77-96.
    4. Thomas W. Hazlett, 1986. "Competition Vs. Franchise Monopoly In Cable Television," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 4(2), pages 80-97, April.
    5. Klein, Daniel B, 1990. "The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods? The Turnpike Companies of Early America," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 788-812, October.
    6. Zupan, Mark A, 1989. "The Efficacy of Franchise Bidding Schemes in the Case of Cable Television: Some Systematic Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 401-456, October.
    7. Victor P. Goldberg, 1976. "Regulation and Administered Contracts," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 426-448, Autumn.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Chu, Xuehao & Fielding, Gordon J., 1994. "Electronic Road Pricing in Southern California: Policy Obstacles to Congestion Pricing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt30m5z5xd, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Lo, H. & Hickman, M. & Walstad, M., 1996. "An Evaluation Taxonomy For Congestion Pricing," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt80g5s1km, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    3. Robin Lindsey, 2006. "Do Economists Reach A Conclusion on Road Pricing? The Intellectual History of an Idea," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(2), pages 292-379, May.
    4. Albert, Gila & Mahalel, David, 2006. "Congestion tolls and parking fees: A comparison of the potential effect on travel behavior," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 496-502, November.
    5. Levinson David, 2009. "Network Neutrality: Lessons from Transportation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-9, March.
    6. Block Walter, 1998. "Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property: Reply to Tullock," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2-3), pages 1-12, June.
    7. David Levinson, 2001. "Road Pricing in Practice," Working Papers 199903, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    8. Andrew Bernard & Márcio Gomes Pinto Garcia, 1997. "Public and private provision of infrastructure and economic development," Textos para discussão 375, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    9. David Levinson, 2005. "Paying for the Fixed Costs of Roads," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 39(3), pages 279-294, September.
    10. David Levinson & Peter Rafferty, 2004. "Delayer Pays Principle: Examining Congestion Pricing with Compensation," Working Papers 200407, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    11. Lai, Lawrence W.C. & Chau, K.W. & Lorne, Frank T., 2016. "The rise and fall of the sand monopoly in colonial Hong Kong," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 106-116.
    12. Levinson, David, 1997. "Case Study: Road Pricing In Practice," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt0w06s4n2, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.

    More about this item


    Social and Behavioral Sciences;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt79z9x6fs. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.