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As well as resulting in frustration for drivers, traffic congestion leads to significant economic costs. In this video, PETER CRAMTON argues that a properly implemented road pricing system can enable us to eliminate traffic congestion in urban areas. The study explains that once road usage is accurately measured, principles of market design can be used to develop and implement a highly efficient pricing system with benefits for all. Addressing concerns around equity and privacy, Cramton’s work suggests that the large scale benefits of road pricing, enhanced both by the availability and diminishing cost of relevant technologies, make its introduction virtually inevitable.


Peter Cramton is Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne and Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. Having completed his doctoral research at Stanford University, Professor Cramton has also previously worked at Yale University. His main research interests include Market Design, Auction Theory and Practice and Industrial Organization. Among the world’s leading authorities on spectrum auctions, Professor Cramton regularly advises governments and participants on the design, implementation and operation of such auctions. The founder of Cramton Associates, he is also a director and chief economist at several companies.


University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln)

Founded in 1388, the University of Cologne (UoC) is the second oldest German university. Its heritage goes hand in hand with a thoroughly modern outlook. The UoC is one of the leading German research universities with an increasing international reach. In 2012 the University won substantial funding in the German Excellence Initiative and is now one of eleven German Excellence Universities. The UoC has a culture which supports individual research as well as medium and large scale collaborative projects. Our flexible approach allows us to reward individual excellence, develop promising fields, build up critical mass and embrace emerging new fields. Research is conducted in our six faculties and in a number of cross-faculty research centers. We are firmly committed to the advancement of fundamental research and have particular strengths in our six competence areas: Aging and demographic change, Social and economic behavior, Quantitative modeling of complex systems, Cultures and societies in transition, Social inequalities and intercultural education and Plant sciences. (Source: University of Cologne)
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Original publication

Set Road Charges in Real Time to Ease Traffic

Ockenfels Axel, Cramton Peter and Geddes R. Richard
Published in 2018