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The Economics of Transportation Network Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Lei Zhang
  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

A number of factors influence the efficiency, productivity, and welfare of a transportation network. Travel demand, user costs, and facility supply costs equilibrate on various time scales under a set of pricing (taxes and tolls), investment and ownership policies. Two types of equilibria exist in a transportation network, short-run traffic equilibrium and long-run supply-demand equilibrium. The phenomenon of traffic equilibrium is explored with a fixed transportation network where the capacity of links is given. Even though investment- and ownership-related policies are not of major concern for studies on traffic equilibrium, it is still a complex problem due to network congestion effects, variations of pricing rules, and multidimensionality of user choices. In order to understand the long-run supply-demand equilibrium in a transportation network, one has to consider all above-mentioned factors in a coherent analytical framework. We refer to this research problem as the transportation network growth problem, because the network evolves and link capacity is not fixed in the long run. Most previous studies have considered network pricing, investment, and ownership structures separately, which are reviewed. The paper considers choices of prices, capacity, and ownership simultaneously on small parallel, serial, and parallel-serial networks, and develops an analytical network model. We discuss properties of long-run network equilibria with different network layouts and ownership regimes, and the implications on network efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "The Economics of Transportation Network Growth," Working Papers 200710, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:economicsofnetworkgrowth
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/179946
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Levinson & Ramachandra Karamalaputi, 2003. "Induced Supply: A Model of Highway Network Expansion at the Microscopic Level," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 297-318, September.
    2. Verhoef, Erik & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1996. "Second-Best Congestion Pricing: The Case of an Untolled Alternative," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 279-302, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "Economics of Road Network Ownership," Working Papers 200908, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Governance choice on a serial network," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 189-212, October.
    3. Michael Iacono & David Levinson & Ahmed El-Geneidy, 2007. "Models of Transportation and Land Use Change: A Guide to the Territory," Working Papers 200805, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    4. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Jurisdictional Control and Network Growth," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 459-483, September.
    5. Lei Zhang & David Levinson & Shanjiang Zhu, 2007. "Agent-Based Model of Price Competition and Product Differentiation on Congested Networks," Working Papers 200809, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Network economics; Modeling network dynamics; Road pricing; Transportation financing; Privatization.;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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