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Distributional effects of road pricing: Assessment of nine scenarios for Paris

Abstract : The starting point of this paper is to consider that there is no general answer to the question of the equity of urban road pricing. We therefore simulate and compare the distributional effects on commuters of nine toll scenarios for Paris, assuming that utility is nonlinear in income. We show that the distributional pattern across income groups depends crucially on the level of traffic reduction induced by tolling. Stringent tolls are more favourable to low-income motorists. Equity effects also vary with toll design. Compared to a reference scenario which uniformly charges all motorists driving within Paris, an inbound cordon toll is detrimental to low-incomes. Conversely, granting a rebate to low CO2 emission cars slightly improves their situation while an exemption for Paris residents is neutral. Surprisingly, it matters little for social equity whether toll revenues are allocated to all commuters or solely to public transport users.
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Benjamin Bureau, Matthieu Glachant. Distributional effects of road pricing: Assessment of nine scenarios for Paris. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, 2008, 42 (07), pp.994-1007. ⟨10.1016/j.tra.2008.02.001⟩. ⟨hal-00437759⟩



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