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The political economy of pricing car access to downtown commercial districts

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

We study the political economy of pricing access to downtown commercial districts, using curbside parking fees as the main example. A spatial equilibrium model is embedded in a political economy framework in which special interest groups (urban and suburban retailers, local residents) lobby the city government. We have the following results. If downtown and suburban stores sell a homogeneous good, the local government underprices downtown parking if suburban stores operate with low enough markups. If goods are heterogeneous and some consumers engage in multiple-stop shopping (i.e., shop both downtown and in the suburbs), suburban stores will not lobby at all; lobbying by downtown retailers leads to parking fees below the social optimum. Furthermore, local residents do not necessarily lobby for high parking fees on downtown shoppers. If a decline in urban stores leads to negative externalities (urban blight) they may join forces with downtown retailers and lobby against high parking fees on shoppers. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal: Transportation Research. Part B : Methodological
ISSN: 0191-2615
Volume: 98
Pages: 76 - 93
Publication year:2017