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The Parking Lot Problem

  • Maria Arbatskaya

    (Emory university)

  • Kaushik Mukhopadhaya
  • Eric Rasmusen

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

If there is competition for access to an underpriced good such as a free parking spot, the competition can eat up the entire surplus, eliminating the social value of the good. There is a discontinuity in social welfare between “enough” and “not enough,” with the minimum social welfare being at slightly too small a parking lot because of the rentseeking efforts of drivers. Uncertainty over the number of drivers actually increases social welfare if the parking lot size is set too small; if it is set optimally, the parking lot size will be well in excess of mean demand.

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File URL: http://kelley.iu.edu/riharbau/RePEc/iuk/wpaper/bepp2007-04-arbatskaya-mukhopadhaya-rasmusen.pdf
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Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2007-04.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2007-04
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