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Probabilistic Choice and Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneous Travellers and Price-Sensitive Demand

Listed author(s):
  • Paul Koster
  • Erik T. Verhoef

    (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Simon Shepherd
  • David Watling

    (University of Leeds, United Kingdom)

This paper deals with first-best and second-best congestion pricing of a stylised two-link network with probabilistic route choice of travellers. Travellers may have heterogeneous values of travel times and may differ in their idiosyncratic route preferences. We derive first-best and second-best tolls taking into account how the overall network demand responds to generalized costs including the tolls that are levied. We show that with homogeneous values of times the welfare losses of second-best pricing, of one link only, may be smaller if route choice is probabilistic. Furthermore, we show that with heterogeneous values of times, common second-best tolls and group-differentiated tolls can be very close when route choice is governed by random utility maximisation, leading to low welfare losses from the inability to differentiate tolls.

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Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 14-078/VIII.

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Date of creation: 27 Jun 2014
Date of revision: 13 Nov 2014
Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20140078
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  1. Fisk, Caroline, 1980. "Some developments in equilibrium traffic assignment," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 243-255, September.
  2. van den Berg, Vincent & Verhoef, Erik T., 2011. "Congestion tolling in the bottleneck model with heterogeneous values of time," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 60-78, January.
  3. Small, Kenneth A & Rosen, Harvey S, 1981. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 105-130, January.
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  5. H C W L Williams, 1977. "On the formation of travel demand models and economic evaluation measures of user benefit," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 9(3), pages 285-344, March.
  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. Parry, Ian W.H., 2008. "How should heavy-duty trucks be taxed?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 651-668, March.
  8. H C W L Williams, 1977. "On the Formation of Travel Demand Models and Economic Evaluation Measures of User Benefit," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 9(3), pages 285-344, March.
  9. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1992. "Route choice with heterogeneous drivers and group-specific congestion costs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 71-102, March.
  10. van den Berg, Vincent & Verhoef, Erik T., 2011. "Winning or losing from dynamic bottleneck congestion pricing?: The distributional effects of road pricing with heterogeneity in values of time and schedule delay," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 983-992, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Lei Zhang & David M. Levinson & Shanjiang Zhu, 2008. "Agent-Based Model of Price Competition, Capacity Choice, and Product Differentiation on Congested Networks," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 42(3), pages 435-461, September.
  13. Light, Thomas, 2009. "Optimal highway design and user welfare under value pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 116-124, September.
  14. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2008. "The merits of separating cars and trucks," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 340-361, September.
  15. Vincent van den Berg & Erik T. Verhoef, 2011. "Congesting Pricing in a Road and Rail Network with Heterogeneous Values of Time and Schedule Delay," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-059/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 24 May 2012.
  16. Small, Kenneth A., 2012. "Valuation of travel time," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 2-14.
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