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Curbing Excess Sprawl with Congestion Tolls and Urban Boundaries

Author

Listed:
  • Alex Anas

    (State University of New York at Buffalo)

  • Hyok-Joo Rhee

    (Seoul National University of Technology)

Abstract

Using an urban land use model in which jobs and residences are spatially dispersed and mixed, we treat the general equilibrium of land, labor and product markets and the trade-off between labor supply, commuting and discretionary travel. We show that the decentralization of population and of jobs shortens commutes while increasing the number of discretionary trips and the time spent on them. Un-priced traffic congestion causes an excess urban sprawl reflected in an average personal daily travel time 13% or 8 minutes too long. Efficiency gains that curb this excess sprawl come from congestion tolls on traffic. To get the same travel improvement, a Portland-style urban boundary would directly limit urban size by a huge greenbelt. This entails a deadweight loss almost 70 times the efficiency gains from tolls. Urban boundaries can be efficient if urban workers greatly value the greenbelt or the urban compactness it creates as a pure public good. Nevertheless, such efficient boundaries increase congestion and tolls are still needed to reduce travel times.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Anas & Hyok-Joo Rhee, 2004. "Curbing Excess Sprawl with Congestion Tolls and Urban Boundaries," Urban/Regional 0408004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:0408004
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 40
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Urban sprawl; general equilibrium; traffic congestion; urban boundaries;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations

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