We consider equilibrium and optimum use of a Vickrey road bottleneck, distinguishing between long-run and short-run scheduling preferences in an otherwise stylized scheduling model. The preference structure reflects that there is a distinction between the (exogenous) 'long-run preferred arrival time', which would be relevant if consumers were unconstrained in the scheduling of their activities, versus the 'short-run preferred arrival time', which is the result of an adaptation of travel routines in the face of constraints caused by, in particular, time-varying congestion levels. We characterize the unpriced equilibrium, the social optimum as well as second-best situations where the availability of the pricing instruments is restricted. All of them imply a dispersed distribution of short-run preferred arrival times. The extent of dispersion in the unpriced equilibrium, however, is higher than socially optimal.
bottleneck model scheduling decisions travel routines long-run vs. short-run