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Partage des coûts et tarification des infrastructures - Tarification optimale des infrastructures communes

Listed author(s):
  • Marcel Boyer
  • Michel Moreaux
  • Michel Truchon

The general interest would require that the use of major equipments be priced at their marginal cost, including all opportunity costs such as congestion and pollution costs. At least, prices should be lowered until full utilization of these equipments is obtained. This is a result that economists call the first best solution. Unfortunately, under increasing returns to scale, such prices lead to a deficit. In order to covers all monetary costs, the managers must then fix prices above the marginal costs. In the general interest, they should do so while trying to preserve as much as possible the first best features, i.e. by maximizing the use of these equipments for the largest well being of the citizens. This is what economists call a second best solution, i.e. the best solution given the budget balance constraint. The problem is to find the prices that will meet this objective. These are the questions addressed in this report. We start with the Ramsey-Boiteux or linear pricing. In this case, there is only one price for each good or service, although prices may vary from one category of customers to the other. Next, we show that one can do better with multi-part or non-linear prices, comprising fix charges, usage fees, etc. The report ends with a brief survey of actual applications of linear and non-linear prices. L'intérêt général commanderait qu'on tarife l'usage des infrastructures à leur coût marginal, en prenant soin d'y inclure tous les coûts d'opportunité, dont ceux liés à la congestion et à la pollution. À tout le moins, on devrait abaisser les tarifs de manière à assurer une pleine utilisation de ces infrastructures. Ce résultat est connu par les économistes comme la solution de premier rang. Malheureusement, dans un contexte d'économie d'échelle, ce mode de tarification conduit à un déficit. Pour couvrir les coûts monétaires, les gestionnaires doivent alors élever les tarifs au-dessus des coûts marginaux. Dans l'intérêt général, les recettes totales devraient alors être prélevées grâce à une gestion aussi proche que possible du premier rang, c'est-à-dire en maximisant l'usage de l'infrastructure, pour le plus grand bien-être des citoyens. On cherche alors ce que les économistes appellent la solution de second rang, i.e. la meilleure solution sous la contrainte d'équilibre budgétaire. Le problème est de déterminer les tarifs de manière à atteindre cet objectif. C'est la problématique étudiée dans ce rapport. On débute par la tarification à la Ramsey-Boiteux ou encore linéaire. Dans ce cas, il n'y a qu'un prix par unité de bien ou service, bien qu'il puisse varier d'un bien à un autre. Ensuite, on montre qu'on peut faire mieux avec des tarifs polynômes ou non linéaires, comprenant des charges fixes, des prix d'usage, etc. On termine par un bref survol des applications qui ont été faites de la tarification linéaire et non linéaire.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Project Reports with number 2003rp-06.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2003
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirpro:2003rp-06
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