The Effect of Government Highway Spending on Road Users' Congestion Costs

35 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2007

See all articles by Clifford Winston

Clifford Winston

AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies

Ashley Langer

UC Berkeley Department of Economics

Abstract

Policymakers attempt to reduce the growth of congestion by spending billions of dollars annually on our road system. We evaluate this policy by estimating the determinants of congestion costs for motorists, trucking operations, and shipping firms. We find that, on average, one dollar of highway spending in a given year reduces the congestion costs to road users only eleven cents in that year. We also find that even if the allocation of spending were optimized to minimize congestion costs that it still is not a cost-effective way to reduce congestion. We conclude the evidence strengthens the case for road pricing.

Keywords: policy evalutation, highways, road congestion

JEL Classification: H00

Suggested Citation

Winston, Clifford and Langer, Ashley, The Effect of Government Highway Spending on Road Users' Congestion Costs. Journal of Urban Economics, Forthcoming; AEI-Brookings Joint Center Working Paper No. 06-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=980752

Clifford Winston (Contact Author)

AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Ashley Langer

UC Berkeley Department of Economics ( email )

508-1 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
133
Abstract Views
1,111
rank
215,467
PlumX Metrics