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Road Pricing in Practice

  • David Levinson


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

The history of turnpikes from their first deployment in the 17th century through their decline in the 19th century, and some restoration in the 20th century is analyzed with a view to understanding the systematic causes of these changes. Key factors posited to explain both the rise and decline include the length of trips using the roads, the size of the governing jurisdiction, the degree of excludability, and the transactions costs of collection - which dictate the size and scope of the free rider problem associated with financing. This paper concludes with some discussion of what is required for turnpikes to become the preferred financing mechanism for highways.

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File Function: First version, 2007
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Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 199903.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Road Pricing, Traffic Congestion and the Environment (ed. Ken Button, Erik Verhoef). Edward Elgar Publishers.
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:rpip
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
Fax: +01 (612) 626-7750
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  1. Klein, Daniel, 1990. "The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods? The Turnpike Companies of Early America," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt0js4r8h9, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. Majewski, J. & Baer, C. & Klein, D., 1991. "Market and Community in Antebellum America: The Plank Roads of New York," Papers 90-91-25, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  3. McCarthy Patrick & Tay Richard, 1993. "Economic Efficiency vs Traffic Restraint: A Note on Singapore's Area License Scheme," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 96-100, July.
  4. Lo, H. & Hickman, M. & Walstad, M., 1996. "An Evaluation Taxonomy For Congestion Pricing," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt80g5s1km, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
  5. Fielding, Gordon J. & Klein, Daniel B., 1993. "How To Franchise Highways," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt79z9x6fs, University of California Transportation Center.
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