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Estimating the functional form of road traffic maturity

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  • Antonio Núñez

    (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

It has been observed that older high traffic motorways experience lower traffic growth than newer ones (ceteris paribus). This phenomenon is known as traffic maturity; however, it is not captured through traditional time-series long-term forecasts, due to constant elasticity to gross domestic product these models assume. In this paper we argue that traffic maturity results from decreasing marginal utility of transport. The elasticity of individual mobility with respect to the revenue tends to decrease when the level of mobility increases. In order to find evidences of decreasing elasticity we analyse a cross-section time-series sample including 40 French motorways' sections. This analysis shows that decreasing elasticity can be observed in the long term. We then propose a decreasing function for the traffic elasticity with respect to the economic growth, which depends on the traffic level on the road. This model provides a good explanation for the observed traffic evolution and gives a rigorous econometric approach to time-series traffic forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Núñez, 2008. "Estimating the functional form of road traffic maturity," Post-Print halshs-00323046, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00323046
    DOI: 10.1007/s11067-007-9049-0
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00323046
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    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00323046/document
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patricia Mokhtarian & Francisco Samaniego & Robert Shumway & Neil Willits, 2002. "Revisiting the notion of induced traffic through a matched-pairs study," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 193-220, May.
    2. Anna Matas & José-Luis Raymond, 2002. "The demand elasticity on tolled motorways," Working Papers wp0203, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    3. Granger, C. W. J., 1981. "Some properties of time series data and their use in econometric model specification," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 121-130, May.
    4. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
    5. Graham, Anne, 2000. "Demand for leisure air travel and limits to growth," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 109-118.
    6. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
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    Keywords

    Traffic maturity; Traffic growth; Demand forecast; Elasticity;

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