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Tolls Versus Mobility Permits: A Comparative Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • André De Palma

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Stef Proost

    ()

    (Department of Economics, KU Leuven)

  • Ravi Seshadri

    (Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre)

  • Moshe Ben-Akiva

    (MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

To address traffic congestion, two categories of instruments are used: price regulation (for instance, road pricing or congestion tolling) and quantity regulation (credit-based mobility schemes). Although the comparison of price and quantity regulation has received significant attention in the economics community, the literature is relatively sparse in the context of transportation systems. This paper develops a methodology to compare the toll and mobility permit instruments using a simple transportation network consisting of parallel highway routes and a public transport alternative. The permits can be traded across roads. The demand for each route is determined by a mixed logit route choice model and the supply consists of static congestion. The comparison is based on the optimum social welfare which is computed for each instrument by solving a non-convex optimization problem involving the mixed logit equilibrium constraints. Equity considerations are also examined. Numerical experiments conducted across a wide range of demand/supply inputs indicate that the toll and mobility permit instruments perform very closely in efficiency terms. The permit system is on average more efficient, but only by a small margin.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number hal-01397582.

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Date of creation: 16 Nov 2016
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-01397582
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01397582
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  1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
  2. E Verhoef & P Nijkamp & P Rietveld, 1997. "Tradeable Permits: Their Potential in the Regulation of Road Transport Externalities," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 24(4), pages 527-548, August.
  3. Robin Lindsey, 2004. "Existence, Uniqueness, and Trip Cost Function Properties of User Equilibrium in the Bottleneck Model with Multiple User Classes," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(3), pages 293-314, August.
  4. Fan, Wenbo & Jiang, Xinguo, 2013. "Tradable mobility permits in roadway capacity allocation: Review and appraisal," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 132-142.
  5. Hideo Konishi, 2004. "Uniqueness of User Equilibrium in Transportation Networks with Heterogeneous Commuters," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(3), pages 315-330, August.
  6. Parry, Ian W H & Bento, Antonio, 2001. " Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 645-671, December.
  7. Carlos F. Daganzo, 1983. "Stochastic Network Equilibrium with Multiple Vehicle Types and Asymmetric, Indefinite Link Cost Jacobians," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(3), pages 282-300, August.
  8. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2012. "A political economy model of road pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 79-92.
  9. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
  10. Jean Jacques Laffont, 1977. "More on Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 177-182.
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