Ian Ayres comments on the dilemma when lanes merge of moving over early (and watching others zoom pass you) or standing your ground (but causing more congestion). He and Barry Nalebuff never published but thought about a possible solution:
Since neither approach is satisfactory, we should look for a better answer. By this point it should be second nature to see that the problem is one of poor incentives. People who jump the queue don’t care sufficiently about how jumping slows down the other drivers.
Is there a way to prevent people from engaging in this behavior? Indeed there is — quite literally. Why not neither move over nor pass, but simply track the speed of the slower moving right lane? You can block people from passing you without taking advantage of the people who are already moved over. The drivers in the right lane understand how you’ve helped them and always gratefully let you in at the end.
Try it, it works. We know; we’ve done it. The only people who lose are the ones who wanted to jump the queue — but they are usually too self conscientious about their intentions to honk (or pull out a gun).
Is it me or isn’t this the norm on Melbourne highways? This is pretty much what I do for merging lanes every morning. I guess if someone got hold of the freeway camera feeds you might actually be able to measure this.