Why Study the Indirect Impacts of Pricing Transport? a Case Study

Why Study the Indirect Impacts of Pricing Transport? a Case Study


M Janse, M Thissen, J Schrijver, D Henstra, L Tavasszy, TNO, Mobility and Logistics, NL



The paper describes a study on the effects of pricing measures on transportation and economic development within the Netherlands. Three scenarios were investigated, one on variabilisation of existing taxes, a second on a levy similar in height as the German Maut, a third on a congestion toll for one specific highway corridor.

What makes this study unique is that 2 models were used together to gain an understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of pricing policies: a transport model and a spatial computable general equilibrium model. Although similar excercises were already undertaken at the European level in the IASON project, these analyses did not include effects on the labour market; moreover, no detailed analyses are available of the welfare re-distributive effect of policies. This study at national level aimes to fill these gaps.

The analysis of transport reactions show that there are many changes within the system that interact. Conclusions with respect to changes in distance travelled, travel speed, congestion levels should therefore be drawn with caution. Nevertheless each of the scenarios gives a very distinctive profile of reactions in terms of travel behaviour.

Although the additional, indirect impacts were not large, they are spatially very diversified and hence considered of relevance to policy makers. The exercise showed that agglomeration effects in product markets and reactions of the labour market imply significant changes from the reference scenario for specific regions in terms of economic growth. Although on the average the regions will grow at the same rate as in the reference scenario, new imbalances between regions are introduced. This is essential input to the discussion (at policy and political level) on the expected acceptance of pricing measures.


Association for European Transport