Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self-Interest in Sweden

Björn Hårsman and John Quigley

Thirty-five years ago, economist John Kain proposed several simple pricing mechanisms for roadways that would "improve urban transportation at practically no cost." At about the same time, Nobel laureate William Vickrey championed a number of likeminded ideas, especially in New York City, that would reduce traffic congestion and improve the efficiency of the transport sector. Some of these proposals would also involve "practically no cost," even using the technology of the 1960s. For example, Vickrey proposed varying the tolls on New York's George Washington Bridge with the time of day, which would make rush-hour driving more expensive and reduce traffic congestion.

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