Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Repeated Commuting

Berliant, Marcus (2011): Repeated Commuting.

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Abstract

We examine commuting in a game-theoretic setting with a continuum of commuters. Commuters' home and work locations can be heterogeneous. The exogenous transport network is arbitrary. Traffic speed is determined by link capacity and by local congestion at a time and place along a link, where local congestion at a time and place is endogenous. After formulating a static model, where consumers choose only routes to work, and a dynamic model, where they also choose departure times, we describe and examine existence of Nash equilibrium in both models and show that they differ, so the static model is not a steady state representation of the dynamic model. Then it is shown via the folk theorem that for sufficiently large discount factors the repeated dynamic model has as equilibrium any strategy that is achievable in the one shot game with choice of departure times, including the efficient ones. A similar result holds for the static model. Our results pose a challenge to congestion pricing. Finally, we examine evidence from St. Louis to determine what equilibrium strategies are actually played in the repeated commuting game.

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