Inframarginal Travelers and Transportation Policy

47 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2019 Last revised: 20 Jul 2021

See all articles by Jonathan D. Hall

Jonathan D. Hall

University of Toronto - Department of Economics; University of Toronto - Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

Date Written: July 19, 2021

Abstract

Half of all travelers have such inflexible schedules that they strictly prefer their chosen arrival times to all others; however, existing models of traffic congestion implicitly assume that no such inframarginal travelers exist. This leads these models to predict travel times nearly seven times greater than those observed or a length of the peak period a seventh that observed (or, more often, a combination of the two). Accounting for these travelers significantly improves these models’ ability to fit the data and changes policy prescriptions. In the case of congestion pricing, it typically changes the optimal toll by at least 25% and significantly worsens the distributional impacts.

Keywords: Structural model, Congestion, Model fit, Calibration, Dynamic, Bottleneck model, Traffic

JEL Classification: R4, H4

Suggested Citation

Hall, Jonathan D., Inframarginal Travelers and Transportation Policy (July 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3424097 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3424097

Jonathan D. Hall (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G7
Canada

University of Toronto - Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy ( email )

Toronto, Ontario
Canada

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