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The Political Economy of Urban Transport System Choice

  • Brueckner, Jan
  • Selod, Harris

This paper analyzes the political economy of transport-system choice, with the goal of gaining an understanding of the forces involved in this important urban public policy decision. Transport systems pose a continuous trade-off between time and money cost, so that a city can choose a fast system with a high money cost per mile or a slower, cheaper system. The paper compares the socially optimal transport system to the one chosen under the voting process, focusing on both homogeneous and heterogeneous cities, while considering different landownership arrangements. The analysis identifies a bias toward underinvestment in transport quality in heterogeneous cities.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4682.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4682
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  1. Sasaki, Komei, 1990. "Income class, modal choice, and urban spatial structure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 322-343, May.
  2. Brueckner, Jan K. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor?: An amenity-based theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-107, January.
  3. LeRoy, Stephen F. & Sonstelie, Jon, 1983. "Paradise lost and regained: Transportation innovation, income, and residential location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-89, January.
  4. DeSalvo, Joseph S. & Huq, Mobinul, 1996. "Income, Residential Location, and Mode Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 84-99, July.
  5. Jan K. Brueckner & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse & Yves Zenou, 2002. "Local Labor Markets, Job Matching, and Urban Location," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 155-171, February.
  6. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1979. "Aggregate Land Rents, Expenditure on Public Goods, and Optimal City Size," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 471-500, November.
  7. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  8. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2005. "Political economy of commuting subsidies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 478-499, May.
  9. Sasaki, Komei, 1989. "Transportation system change and urban structure in two-transport mode setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 346-367, May.
  10. Wheaton, William C, 1977. "Income and Urban Residence: An Analysis of Consumer Demand for Location," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 620-31, September.
  11. Selod, Harris & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Private versus public schools in post-Apartheid South African cities: theory and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 351-394, August.
  12. Calfee, John & Winston, Clifford, 1998. "The value of automobile travel time: implications for congestion policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 83-102, July.
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