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Urban highway congestion

An analysis of second-best tolls


This article examines urban highway congestion pricing in the instance in which it is not possible to levy a congestion toll on a major portion of the urban road system. This case is pertinent because of technical and/or political constraints. The article uses economic theory and numerical examples to show that the optimum second-best toll can vary appreciably from the optimal tolls in a regime in which efficient tolls can be imposed on all routes.

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Mcdonald, J.F. Urban highway congestion. Transportation 22, 353–369 (1995).

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Key words

  • congestion pricing
  • road pricing
  • route choice
  • second-best road pricing
  • urban travel demand management