NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities

Gilles Duranton, Matthew A. Turner

NBER Working Paper No. 15376
Issued in September 2009
NBER Program(s):   EEE

We investigate the relationship between interstate highways and highway vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT) in US cities. We find that VKT increases proportionately to highways and identify three important sources for this extra VKT: an increase in driving by current residents; an increase in transportation intensive production activity; and an inflow of new residents. The provision of public transportation has no impact on VKT. We also estimate the aggregate city level demand for VKT and find it to be very elastic. We conclude that an increased provision of roads or public transit is unlikely to relieve congestion.

download in pdf format
   (2214 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (2214 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15376

Published: Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2011. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2616-52, October. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Glaeser and Kahn w14238 The Greenness of Cities: Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development
Gaynor, Moreno-Serra, and Propper w16164 Death by Market Power: Reform, Competition and Patient Outcomes in the National Health Service
Anderson w18757 Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns: The Impacts of Public Transit on Traffic Congestion
Frankel w7858 Globalization of the Economy
Tachibanaki The Role of Firms in Welfare Provision
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us