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Measuring Marginal Congestion Costs of Urban Transportation: Do Networks Matter?

  • Safirova, Elena

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Gillingham, Kenneth

In determining the marginal cost of congestion, economists have traditionally relied upon directly measuring traffic congestion on network links, disregarding any “network effects,” since the latter are difficult to estimate. While for simple networks the comparison can be done within a theoretical framework, it is important to know whether such network effects in real large-scale networks are quantitatively significant. In this paper we use a strategic transportation planning model (START) to compare marginal congestion costs computed link-by-link with measures taking into account network effects. We find that while in aggregate network effects are not significant, congestion measured on a single link is a poor predictor of total congestion costs imposed by travel on that link. Also, we analyze the congestion proliferation effect on the network to see how congestion is distributed within an urban area.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-56.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-56
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  1. Parry, Ian & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian & Safirova, Elena & Mason, Dave & Gillingham, Kenneth, 2003. "Welfare and Distributional Effects of Road Pricing Schemes for Metropolitan Washington, DC," Discussion Papers dp-03-57, Resources For the Future.
  2. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Lipman, D. Abram & Harrington, Winston & Bagliano, Andrew D., 2006. "Congestion Pricing: Long-Term Economic and Land-Use Effects," Discussion Papers dp-06-37, Resources For the Future.
  3. Jenelius, Erik & Petersen, Tom & Mattsson, Lars-Göran, 2006. "Importance and exposure in road network vulnerability analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 537-560, August.
  4. Santos, Georgina, 2004. "11. Urban Road Pricing In The U.K," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 251-282, January.
  5. Georgina Santos, 2004. "Urban Congestion Charging: A Second-Best Alternative," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 38(3), pages 345-369, September.
  6. DeCorla-Souza, Patrick, 2004. "12. Recent U.S. Experience: Pilot Projects," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 283-308, January.
  7. repec:dgr:uvatin:19990066 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 2001. "Marginal tax reform, externalities and income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 343-363, February.
  9. Yang, Hai & Huang, Hai-Jun, 1998. "Principle of marginal-cost pricing: how does it work in a general road network?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 45-54, January.
  10. Nelson, Peter & Bagliano, Andrew & Harrington, Winston & Safirova, Elena & Lipman, Abram, 2006. "Transit in Washington, D.C.: Current Benefits and Optimal Level of Provision," Discussion Papers dp-06-21, Resources For the Future.
  11. Ramjerdi, Farideh & Minken, Harald & Østmoe, Knut, 2004. "10. Norwegian Urban Tolls," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 237-249, January.
  12. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2006. "Spatial Implications of Transport Pricing," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 40(2), pages 173-201, May.
  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. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "Economics of Road Network Ownership," Working Papers 200908, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  15. Verhoef, Erik Teodoor & Small, Kenneth A., 1999. "Product Differentiation on Roads: Second-Best Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneity under Public and Private Ownership," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa358, European Regional Science Association.
  16. Parry, Ian W.H. & Bento, Antonio Miguel R., 1999. "Revenue recycling and the welfare effects of road pricing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2253, The World Bank.
  17. Richard Arnott & An Yan, 2000. "The Two-Mode Problem: Second-Best Pricing and Capacity," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 474, Boston College Department of Economics.
  18. Hanna Armelius, 2005. "An Integrated Approach to Urban Road Pricing," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 39(1), pages 75-92, January.
  19. Dewees, Donald N, 1979. "Estimating the Time Costs of Highway Congestion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1499-1512, November.
  20. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2005. "Congestion pricing on a road network: A study using the dynamic equilibrium simulator METROPOLIS," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 588-611.
  21. 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.
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