Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

An economic analysis of pavement damage caused by studded tires in Oregon Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/mc87pt156

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  • This report frames the debate over studded tires in terms of economic principles of marginal cost pricing and efficient resource allocation. In the absence of a user tax, the pavement damage caused by studded tires results in inefficient pricing because social costs associated with the damage are excluded from the price paid by consumers. This leads to over use of studded tires. No attempt was made to quantify the safety effects of studded tire use. A review of research literature was provided to qualitatively support the premise that there is no social benefit from studded tires in Oregon. Quantitative cost analysis was limited to pavement rutting on the state highway system that is sufficient to reduce the useful life of the pavement. The cost estimation was conducted in two stages: first, the wear rates for asphalt and Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavement surfaces were estimated, expressed as inches of rut depth per 100,000 studded tire passes. Linear regression analysis was conducted using rut depth, traffic, and studded tire data from a sample of Oregon highways. A range of wear rates was estimated, reflecting the numerous factors that influence rutting susceptibility of pavements. The mid-points of wear rates for asphalt and PCC were 0.0386" and 0.0093", respectively. Second, the wear rate estimates were used to approximate rutting for the state highway system and to predict resurfacing expenses attributable to studded tire traffic. The results indicate that the cost of studded tire damage on Oregon state highways in 1995 was approximately $10 million. This averages to $8 per tire per year. The implications of the cost are then discussed in terms of the allocation effects of underpricing due to an untaxed externality. The external costs pavement damage caused by studded tires result in inefficient pricing because external costs associated with the damage are excluded from the price paid by consumers. This leads to excess use of studded tires. A studded tires tax sufficient to cover attributable maintenance costs would be in the neighborhood of 30% of the purchase price and would result in a sharp decline in the quantity of studded tires in use.
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