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Congestion, Agglomeration, and the Structure of Cities

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  • Jeffrey Brinkman

Abstract

Supersede WP 13-25. Congestion costs in urban areas are significant and clearly represent a negative externality. Nonetheless, economists also recognize the production advantages of urban density in the form of positive agglomeration externalities. The long-run equilibrium outcomes in economies with multiple correlated but o setting externalities have yet to be fully explored in the literature. Therefore, I develop a spatial equilibrium model of urban structure that includes both congestion costs and agglomeration externalities. I then estimate the structural parameters of the model using a computational algorithm to match the spatial distribution of employment, population, land use, land rents, and commute times in the data. Policy simulations based on the estimates suggest that congestion pricing may have ambiguous consequences for economic welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Brinkman, 2016. "Congestion, Agglomeration, and the Structure of Cities," Working Papers 16-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:16-13
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Congestion; Agglomeration; Externalities; Spatial Equilibrium; Urban Structure; Estimation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

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