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Distributional effects of road pricing: Assessment of nine scenarios for Paris

  • Benjamin Bureau

    (CERNA - Centre d'économie industrielle - Mines ParisTech)

  • Matthieu Glachant

    (CERNA - Centre d'économie industrielle - Mines ParisTech)

The starting point of this paper is to consider that there is no general answer to the question of the equity of urban road pricing. We therefore simulate and compare the distributional effects on commuters of nine toll scenarios for Paris, assuming that utility is nonlinear in income. We show that the distributional pattern across income groups depends crucially on the level of traffic reduction induced by tolling. Stringent tolls are more favourable to low-income motorists. Equity effects also vary with toll design. Compared to a reference scenario which uniformly charges all motorists driving within Paris, an inbound cordon toll is detrimental to low-incomes. Conversely, granting a rebate to low CO2 emission cars slightly improves their situation while an exemption for Paris residents is neutral. Surprisingly, it matters little for social equity whether toll revenues are allocated to all commuters or solely to public transport users.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00437759.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Publication status: Published, Transportation Research. Part A, Policy and Practice, 2008, 42, 07, 994-1007
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00437759
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal-ensmp.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00437759/en/
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  1. Safirova, Elena & Gillingham, Kenneth & Parry, Ian & Nelson, Peter & Harrington, Winston & Mason, David, 2004. "8. Welfare And Distributional Effects Of Road Pricing Schemes For Metropolitan Washington Dc," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 179-206, January.
  2. Eliasson, Jonas & Mattsson, Lars-Göran, 2006. "Equity effects of congestion pricing: Quantitative methodology and a case study for Stockholm," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 602-620, August.
  3. Maruyama, Takuya & Sumalee, Agachai, 2007. "Efficiency and equity comparison of cordon- and area-based road pricing schemes using a trip-chain equilibrium model," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 655-671, August.
  4. Jara-Díaz, Sergio R. & Videla, Jorge, 1989. "Detection of income effect in mode choice: Theory and application," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 393-400, December.
  5. Georgina Santos & Laurent Rojey, 2004. "Distributional impacts of road pricing: The truth behind the myth," Transportation, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 21-42, February.
  6. John K. Dagsvik & Anders Karlstr�m, 2005. "Compensating Variation and Hicksian Choice Probabilities in Random Utility Models that are Nonlinear in Income," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 57-76.
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