IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rff/dpaper/dp-03-57.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Welfare and Distributional Effects of Road Pricing Schemes for Metropolitan Washington, DC

Author

Listed:
  • Parry, Ian

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Harrington, Winston

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Nelson, Per-Kristian

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Safirova, Elena

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Mason, Dave
  • Gillingham, Kenneth

Abstract

Economists have long advocated congestion pricing as an efficient way of allocating scarce roadway capacity. However, with a few exceptions, congestion tolls are rarely used in practice and strongly opposed by the public and elected officials. Although high implementation costs and privacy issues are alleviated as appropriate technologies are developed, the concerns that congestion pricing will adversely affect low-income travelers remain. In this paper, we use a strategic transportation planning model calibrated for the Washington, DC, metropolitan area to compare the welfare and distributional effects of three pricing schemes: value pricing (HOT lanes), limited congestion pricing, and comprehensive congestion pricing. We find that social welfare gains from HOT lanes amount to three-quarters of those from the comprehensive road pricing. At the same time, a HOT lanes policy turns out to be much more equitable than other road pricing schemes, with all income groups strictly benefiting even before the toll revenue is recycled.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-57
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-03-57.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruno De Borger & Stef Proost (ed.), 2001. "Reforming Transport Pricing in the European Union," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1822, April.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Parry, Ian & Bento, Antonio, 1999. "Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Discussion Papers dp-99-45, Resources For the Future.
    6. Ison, S., 2000. "Local authority and academic attitudes to urban road pricing: a UK perspective," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 269-277, October.
    7. Small, Kenneth A & Winston, Clifford & Yan, Jia, 2002. "Uncovering the Distribution of Motorists' Preferences for Travel Time and Reliability: Implications for Road Pricing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8zd2r34k, University of California Transportation Center.
    8. Small, Kenneth A., 1992. "Using the Revenues from Congestion Pricing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt32p9m3mm, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Small, Kenneth A., 1983. "The incidence of congestion tolls on urban highways," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 90-111, January.
    12. Dahlgren, Joy, 1999. "High Occupancy Vehicle/Toll Lanes: How Do They Operate and Where Do They Make Sense?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt92j590p6, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    13. Kenneth A. Small & Clifford Winston & Jia Yan, 2005. "Uncovering the Distribution of Motorists' Preferences for Travel Time and Reliability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1367-1382, July.
    14. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    15. Gerard de Jong & Hugh Gunn, 2001. "Recent Evidence on Car Cost and Time Elasticities of Travel Demand in Europe," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 35(2), pages 137-160, May.
    16. Parry, I. W. H., 2002. "Comparing the efficiency of alternative policies for reducing traffic congestion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 333-362, September.
    17. Parry, Ian W H & Bento, Antonio, 2001. " Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 645-671, December.
    18. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 1997. " Optimal Tax and Public Investment Rules for Congestion Type of Externalities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(2), pages 261-279, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rouhani, Omid M. & Geddes, R. Richard & Gao, H. Oliver & Bel, Germà, 2016. "Social welfare analysis of investment public–private partnership approaches for transportation projects," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 86-103.
    2. Konishi, Hideo & Mun, Se-il, 2010. "Carpooling and congestion pricing: HOV and HOT lanes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 173-186, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Tovar Reaños, Miguel Angel & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2016. "Fuel for inequality: Distributional effects of environmental reforms on private transport," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-090, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Spatial Development and Energy Consumption," Discussion Papers dp-07-51, Resources For the Future.
    6. repec:eee:trapol:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:99-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Callan, Tim & Lyons, Sean & Scott, Susan & Tol, Richard S.J. & Verde, Stefano, 2009. "The distributional implications of a carbon tax in Ireland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 407-412, February.
    8. Rouhani, Omid M. & Knittel, Christopher R. & Niemeier, Debbie, 2014. "Road Supply in Central London: Addition of an Ignored Social Cost," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum, vol. 53(1).
    9. Bureau, Benjamin & Glachant, Matthieu, 2008. "Distributional effects of road pricing: Assessment of nine scenarios for Paris," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, pages 994-1007.
    10. Mogens Fosgerau & Kurt Van Dender, 2013. "Road pricing with complications," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 479-503, May.
    11. Farrell, Niall, 2015. "What Factors drive Inequalities in Carbon Tax Incidence? Decomposing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Carbon Tax Incidence in Ireland," Papers WP519, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    12. Nelson, Peter & Baglino, Andrew & Harrington, Winston & Safirova, Elena & Lipman, Abram, 2007. "Transit in Washington, DC: Current benefits and optimal level of provision," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 231-251, September.
    13. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:31-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. M Rouhani, Omid, 2016. "Social welfare analysis of HOV to HOT conversion," MPRA Paper 75816, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Omid M. Rouhani, 2016. "Next Generations of Road Pricing: Social Welfare Enhancing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-15, March.
    16. Harrington, Winston & Safirova, Elena & Coleman, Conrad & Houde, Sebastien & Finkel, Adam M., 2014. "Distributional Consequences of Public Policies: An Example from the Management of Urban Vehicular Travel Abstract: This paper uses a spatially disaggregated computable general equilibrium model of a l," Discussion Papers dp-14-04, Resources For the Future.
    17. Gemechu, E.D. & Butnar, I. & Llop, M. & Castells, F., 2012. "Environmental tax on products and services based on their carbon footprint: A case study of the pulp and paper sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 336-344.
    18. DeCorla-Souza, Patrick, 2005. "A New Public-Private Partnership Model for Road Pricing Implementation," 46th Annual Transportation Research Forum, Washington, D.C., March 6-8, 2005 208207, Transportation Research Forum.
    19. 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.
    20. Kristoffersson, Ida & Engelson, Leonid, 2016. "Efficiency and equity of congestion charges," Working papers in Transport Economics 2016:7, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    traffic congestion; congestion pricing; value pricing; HOT lanes; HOV lanes;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

    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-03-57. 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: (Webmaster). General contact details of provider: http://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 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.

    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.