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Urban Growth Boundaries: An Effective Second-Best Remedy for Unpriced Traffic Congestion?

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  • Jan K. Brueckner

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the efficacy of the urban growth boundary (UGB) as a second-best substitute for a first-best toll regime in a congested city. Numerical results show that, while a UGB is welfare improving, validating previous theoretical results, the utility gain it generates is a very small fraction of that achieved under a toll regime. Thus, the UGB is not a useful instrument for attacking the distortions caused by unpriced traffic congestion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan K. Brueckner, 2005. "Urban Growth Boundaries: An Effective Second-Best Remedy for Unpriced Traffic Congestion?," Working Papers 050610, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050610
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
    2. Thomas J. Nechyba & Randall P. Walsh, 2004. "Urban Sprawl," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 177-200, Fall.
    3. Arnott, Richard J., 1979. "Unpriced transport congestion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 294-316, October.
    4. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pines, David & Sadka, Efraim, 1985. "Zoning, first-best, second-best, and third-best criteria for allocating land for roads," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 167-183, March.
    6. Wheaton, William C., 1998. "Land Use and Density in Cities with Congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 258-272, March.
    7. Anas, Alex & Rhee, Hyok-Joo, 2006. "Curbing excess sprawl with congestion tolls and urban boundaries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 510-541, July.
    8. Kanemoto, Yoshitsugu, 1977. "Cost-benefit analysis and the second best land use for transportation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 483-503, October.
    9. Bertaud, Alain & Brueckner, Jan K., 2005. "Analyzing building-height restrictions: predicted impacts and welfare costs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 109-125, March.
    10. Ding, Chengri & Knaap, Gerrit J. & Hopkins, Lewis D., 1999. "Managing Urban Growth with Urban Growth Boundaries: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 53-68, July.
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