IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rff/dpaper/dp-00-28.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Comparing the Efficiency of Alternative Policies for Reducing Traffic Congestion

Author

Listed:
  • Parry, Ian

    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

This paper compares the efficiency of a single lane toll, a congestion tax applied uniformly across freeway lanes, a gasoline tax, and a transit fare subsidy at reducing traffic congestion. The model incorporates a variety of conditions required to reach an efficient outcome. These include conditions for the efficient allocation of travel among competing modes, travel at peak versus off-peak periods, and drivers with high and low time costs sorted onto faster and slower freeway lanes. Each policy violates some or all of the efficiency conditions. Under wide parameter scenarios, the single lane toll, gasoline tax, and transit subsidy forgo at least two thirds of the efficiency gains under an "ideal" congestion tax that varies across lanes. In contrast, the uniform congestion tax can achieve more than 90 percent of the efficiency gains, despite failing to separate out drivers with high and low time costs onto different freeway lanes.

Suggested Citation

  • Parry, Ian, 2000. "Comparing the Efficiency of Alternative Policies for Reducing Traffic Congestion," Discussion Papers dp-00-28, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-00-28
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-00-28.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Parry, Ian W. H. & Bento, Antonio, 2002. "Estimating the Welfare Effect of Congestion Taxes: The Critical Importance of Other Distortions within the Transport System," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 339-365, March.
    2. Small, Kenneth A. & Yan, Jia, 2001. "The Value of "Value Pricing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 310-336, March.
    3. Harrington, Winston & Krupnick, Alan J. & Alberini, Anna, 1998. "Overcoming Public Aversion to Congestion Pricing," Discussion Papers 10730, Resources for the Future.
    4. Braid, Ralph M., 1996. "Peak-Load Pricing of a Transportation Route with an Unpriced Substitute," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 179-197, September.
    5. Ian W. H. Parry & Antonio Bento, 2001. "Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 645-671, December.
    6. Small, Kenneth A., 1983. "The incidence of congestion tolls on urban highways," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 90-111, January.
    7. Mohring, Herbert, 1972. "Optimization and Scale Economies in Urban Bus Transportation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 591-604, September.
    8. Erik T. Verhoef & Kenneth A. Small, 1999. "Product Differentiation on Roads: Second-Best Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneity under Public and Private Ownership," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Small, Kenneth A. & Gomez-Ibanez, Jose A., 1999. "Urban transportation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 1937-1999, Elsevier.
    10. Glaister, Stephen & Lewis, Davis, 1978. "An integrated fares policy for transport in London," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 341-355, June.
    11. Richard Arnott & Kenneth Small, 1993. "The Economics Of Traffic Congestion," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 256, Boston College Department of Economics.
    12. Harrington, Winston & Krupnick, Alan J. & Alberini, Anna, 2001. "Overcoming public aversion to congestion pricing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 87-105, February.
    13. Liu, Louie Nan & McDonald, John F., 1998. "Efficient Congestion Tolls in the Presence of Unpriced Congestion: A Peak and Off-Peak Simulation Model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 352-366, November.
    14. Newbery, David M, 1990. "Pricing and Congestion: Economic Principles Relevant to Pricing Roads," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 22-38, Summer.
    15. Balasko, Yves, 1997. "Pareto optima, welfare weights, and smooth equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 473-503.
    16. Small, Kenneth A. & Gomez-Ilbanez, Jose A., 1998. "Road Pricing for Congestion Management: The Transition from Theory to Policy," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8kk909p1, University of California Transportation Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Parry, Ian W. H. & Bento, Antonio, 2002. "Estimating the Welfare Effect of Congestion Taxes: The Critical Importance of Other Distortions within the Transport System," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 339-365, March.
    2. Ian W. H. Parry & Antonio Bento, 2001. "Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 645-671, December.
    3. Ian W.H. Parry, 2009. "Pricing Urban Congestion," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 461-484, September.
    4. Safirova, Elena & Gillingham, Kenneth & Parry, Ian & Nelson, Peter & Harrington, Winston & Mason, David, 2004. "8. Welfare And Distributional Effects Of Road Pricing Schemes For Metropolitan Washington Dc," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 179-206, January.
    5. Kraus, Marvin, 2003. "A new look at the two-mode problem," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 511-530, November.
    6. Safirova, Elena & Gillingham, Kenneth & Houde, Sébastien, 2007. "Measuring marginal congestion costs of urban transportation: Do networks matter?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 734-749, October.
    7. Parry, Ian, 2001. "How Should Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Finance Its Transportation Deficit?," Discussion Papers dp-01-12, Resources For the Future.
    8. Small, Kenneth A. & Yan, Jia, 2001. "The Value of "Value Pricing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 310-336, March.
    9. Button, Kenneth, 2004. "1. The Rationale For Road Pricing: Standard Theory And Latest Advances," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-25, January.
    10. Erik T. Verhoef & Kenneth A. Small, 1999. "Product Differentiation on Roads: Second-Best Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneity under Public and Private Ownership," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. Vandyck, Toon & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2018. "Regional labor markets, commuting, and the economic impact of road pricing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 217-236.
    12. Kraus, Marvin, 2012. "Road pricing with optimal mass transit," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 81-86.
    13. Verhoef, Erik T., 2002. "Second-best congestion pricing in general networks. Heuristic algorithms for finding second-best optimal toll levels and toll points," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 707-729, September.
    14. Cantos-Sánchez, Pedro & Moner-Colonques, Rafael & Sempere-Monerris, José J. & Álvarez-SanJaime, Óscar, 2009. "Alternative pricing regimes in interurban passenger transport with externalities and modal competition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 128-137, March.
    15. Romeo Danielis & Edoardo Marcucci, 1999. "Bottleneck Congestion and Modal Split Revisited," Working Papers 1999.5, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    16. De Borger, B. & Proost, S. & Van Dender, K., 2005. "Congestion and tax competition in a parallel network," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2013-2040, November.
    17. Parry, Ian W. H., 2002. "Funding transportation spending in metropolitan Washington, DC: the costs of alternative revenue sources," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 362-390, September.
    18. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2009. "Should Urban Transit Subsidies Be Reduced?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 700-724, June.
    19. Button, Kenneth, 2020. "The Transition From Pigou’S Ideas On Road Pricing To Their Application," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(3), pages 417-438, September.
    20. Edward Calthrop & Bruno De Borger & Stef Proost, 2007. "Externalities And Partial Tax Reform: Does It Make Sense To Tax Road Freight (But Not Passenger) Transport?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 721-752, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-00-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/degraus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Webmaster The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Webmaster to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/degraus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.