Transport Subsidies, System Choice, and Urban Sprawl

30 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2004

See all articles by Jan K. Brueckner

Jan K. Brueckner

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: November 2003

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of transport subsidies on the spatial expansion of cities, asking whether subsidies are a source of undesirable urban sprawl. While the cost-reducing effect of transport subsidies is offset by a higher general tax burden (which reduces the demand for space), the analysis shows that subsidies nevertheless lead to spatial expansion of cities. If the transport system exhibits constant returns to scale, the subsidies are inefficient, making the urban expansion they entail undesirable. The paper also studies transport "system choice." The city is portrayed as selecting its transport system from along a continuum of money-cost/time-cost choices.

JEL Classification: R13, R14, R4

Suggested Citation

Brueckner, Jan K., Transport Subsidies, System Choice, and Urban Sprawl (November 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=479241

Jan K. Brueckner (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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