Economics at your fingertips  

Government Failure in Urban Transportation

Clifford Winston ()

Fiscal Studies, 2000, vol. 21, issue 4, 403-425

Abstract: This paper assesses governmental performance in its investment, provision and regulation of urban transportation. Attention is given to public bus and rail transit and road transportation. Evidence based on urban transport in US cities reveals substantial allocative and technical inefficiencies that have led to large public transit deficits and severe highway congestion. I argue that it is futile to expect public officials to remedy the situation by pursuing more efficient policies such as congestion pricing and weighing costs and benefits when deciding transit service. The problem is that urban transportation policy is largely shaped by entrenched political forces that inhibit constructive change. The only realistic way to improve the system is to shield it from those influences and expose it to market forces by privatising it. This position is supported by empirical evidence based on simulations for the US and the UK’s early experience with privatisation.

JEL-codes: R4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (14) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Fiscal Studies from Institute for Fiscal Studies The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Emma Hyman ().

Page updated 2019-09-17
Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:21:y:2000:i:4:p:403-425