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Congestion Control and Vehicle Ownership Restriction: The Choice of an Optimal Quota Policy

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  • Winston T.H. Koh

    () (School of Economics and Social Sciences, Singapore Management University)

Abstract

Singapore introduced a vehicle quota system (VQS) in 1990 as part of its overall policy to control urban congestion. While the VQS has reduced the annual growth rate of the vehicle population to about 3%, it has created uncertainty in the cost of vehicle ownership due to the fluctuations in license prices. The paper discusses three issues relating to the optimal design of a VQS: license transferability, subcategorization and the choice of an auction format. Our analysis shows that license transferability is not unambiguously desirable, sub-categorization is highly regressive, and an open auction format results in less aggressive bidding and lower license prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Winston T.H. Koh, 2003. "Congestion Control and Vehicle Ownership Restriction: The Choice of an Optimal Quota Policy," Working Papers 03-2004, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:03-2004
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    File URL: https://mercury.smu.edu.sg/rsrchpubupload/1819/Optimalquotapolicy_WK.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Phang, Sock-Yong & Wong, Wing-Keung & Chia, Ngee-Choon, 1996. "Singapore's experience with car quotas : Issues and policy processes," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 145-153, October.
    2. Ling Hui Tan, 2003. "Rationing Rules and Outcomes: The Experience of Singapore's Vehicle Quota System," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(3), pages 1-5.
    3. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-392, June.
    4. Willoughby, C., 2001. "Singapore's motorization policies 1960-2000," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 125-139, April.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    8. Koh, Winston T. H., 2003. "Control of vehicle ownership and market competition: theory and Singapore's experience with the vehicle quota system," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 749-770, November.
    9. Phang, Sock-Yong, 1993. "Singapore's motor vehicle policy: Review of recent changes and a suggested alternative," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 329-336, July.
    10. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Chin, Anthony & Smith, Peter, 1997. "Automobile ownership and government policy: The economics of Singapore's vehicle quota scheme," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 129-140, March.
    13. Falvey, Rodney E, 1979. "The Composition of Trade within Import-restricted Product Categories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 1105-1114, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    congestion control; vehicle ownership; optimal quota; transport policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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