Using consistent agent-based techniques, this research models the decision-making processes of users and infrastructure owner/operators to explore the welfare consequence of price competition, capacity choice, and product differentiation on congested transportation networks. Component models include: (1) An agent-based travel demand model wherein each traveler has learning capabilities and unique characteristics (e.g. value of time); (2) Econometric facility provision cost models; and (3) Representations of road authorities making pricing and capacity decisions. Different from small-network equilibrium models in prior literature, this agent-based model is applicable to pricing and investment analyses on large complex networks. The subsequent economic analysis focuses on the source, evolution, measurement, and impact of product differentiation with heterogeneous users on a mixed ownership network (with tolled and untolled roads). Two types of product differentiation in the presence of toll roads, path differentiation and space differentiation, are defined and measured for a base case and several variants with different types of price and capacity competition and with various degrees of user heterogeneity. The findings favor a fixed-rate road pricing policy compared to complete pricing freedom on toll roads. It is also shown that the relationship between net social benefit and user heterogeneity is not monotonic on a complex network with toll roads.
Zhang, Lei, David Levinson, and Shanjiang Zhu (2008) Agent-Based Model of Price Competition and Product Differentiation on Congested Networks. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy Sept. 2008 42(3) 435-461.
Zhang, Lei; Levinson, David M; Zhu, Shanjiang.
Agent-Based Model of Price Competition and Product Differentiation on Congested Networks..
University of Bath.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.