Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Mause I 466f
Road Pricing/Economic Theories: A basic microeconomic principle is that any relative price change has an impact on the consumption decisions of individual economic actors and triggers substitution processes. Therefore, if a road user has to pay a fee in addition to his time and operating costs for the use of a section of road during a congestion-prone period (e.g. rush hour traffic), there is an incentive to switch to an alternative point in time, an alternative route or an alternative means of transport. The optimum amount of this additional fee corresponds exactly to the additional costs for all other road users caused by each additional road user on an overused road section (cf. Yan and Lam 1996, p. 319) (1).
Tolls are not about rivalry in consumption, but the problem of non-excludability (see externalities). Since a toll changes the price ratio between different road sections or means of transport, substitution processes can be triggered for congested road sections.
Mause I 467
Problems: 1. the monetary evaluation of the time costs of road users, 2. complex interdependencies within the transport network. As a result, the theoretically best solution (first-best) cannot be implemented in practice and only an approximation (second-best) can be achieved. (cf. Samll and Verhoef 2007, p. 137) (2).
Value: can be divided into two aspects: a) value of the reduction in travel time, b) value of reliability in relation to the time used. (Carrion and Levinson, 2012, p. 721. (3))
Road user fee/Toll: can be seen as a product differentiation. The consumer wonders how much he/she is prepared to pay for a more convenient product variant. (see Small & Yan, 2001, p. 311). (>preference).
Mause I 468
Welfare increase: Tolls can lead to an increase in welfare and must therefore be supported from an economic point of view.
Problem: the introduction creates redistributive effects. If the revenue of the fee is not redistributed within road users, but goes to the state, there are (...) "losers" through the introduction of a road user charge.


1. Yan, Hai, und William H. K. Lam. 1996. Optimal road tolls under conditions of queueing and congestion. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 30 (5): 319– 332.
2. Small, Kenneth A., und Erik T. Verhoef..The economics of urban transportation. London/ New York 2007.
3. Carrion, Carlos, und David Levinson. 2012. Value of travel time reliability: A review of current evidence. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 46 (4): 720– 741.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Economic Theories
Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-02-17
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