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Commuting in Catalonia: Estimates from a place-to-place model


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  • Manuel Artis


  • Javier Romani


  • Jordi Suri?ach



Commuting consists in the fact that an important fraction of workers in developed countries do not reside close to their workplaces but at long distances from them, so they have to travel to their jobs and then back home daily. Catalonia (a Spanish region) is divided in 41 comarcas or small aggregations of municipalities (smaller than NUTS-3 level). Some of them have a positive commuting balance, attracting many workers from other comarcas and providing local jobs for almost all their resident workers. On the other side, other comarcas seem to be mostly residential, so an important fraction of their resident workers hold jobs in other comarcas. Which variables influence the comarca's role as an attraction pole or a residential zone? In previous papers (presented to the ERSA and Spanish Regional Science Association Congresses) we have brought out the main individual variables that influence commuting by analysing a sample of Catalan workers and their commuting decisions. Anyway, the comarcal economical structure has been analysed only at a descriptive level. Variables influencing comarcal quality of life ("amenities") have almost been ignored due to the lack of enough territorial disaggregation in the sample. These variables are supposed to influence commuting in two different ways: A zone with a dense, well-developed economical structure will have a high density of jobs. Work demand cannot be fulfilled with resident workers, so it spills over comarcal boundaries. On the other side, this economical activity has a series of side-effects like pollution, congestion or high land prices which make these comarcas less desirable to live in. Workers who can afford it may prefer to live in less populated, less congested comarcas, where they can find cheaper land, larger homes and a better quality of life. The penalty of this decision is an increased commuting time. Our aim in this paper is to highlight the influence of comarcal economical structure and comarcal amenities dotation in the workplace-residence location decision. A place-to place commuting model is estimated in order to find the economical and amenities variables with higher influence in commuting decisions. Data have been obtained from aggregate flow travel-matrix from the 1991 Spanish Population Census.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa98p60.

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Date of creation: Aug 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa98p60

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  1. Greenwood, Michael J. & Hunt, Gary L., 1989. "Jobs versus amenities in the analysis of metropolitan migration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-16, January.
  2. Knapp, Thomas A. & Graves, Philip E., 1989. "On the role of amenities in models of migration and regional development," MPRA Paper 19914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Abdel-Rahman Hesham M. & Fujita Masahisa, 1993. "Specialization and Diversification in a System of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 189-222, March.
  4. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Shack-Marquez, Janice & Wascher, William L., 1993. "Does migration arbitrage regional labor market differentials?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 211-233, April.
  5. Mueser Peter R. & Graves Philip E., 1995. "Examining the Role of Economic Opportunity and Amenities in Explaining Population Redistribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 176-200, March.
  6. Zax, Jeffrey S., 1994. "When is a move a migration?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 341-360, June.
  7. Boarnet Marlon G., 1994. "The Monocentric Model and Employment Location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 79-97, July.
  8. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Justman, Moshe & Levy, Amnon, 1987. "Place-to-place migration in Israel : Estimates of a logistic model," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 595-606, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Goerlich Gisbert Francisco J. & Mas Ivars Matilde, 2008. "Sobre el tamaño de las ciudades en España: Dos reflexiones y una regularidad empírica," Working Papers, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation 201079, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  2. Gonzalez, Manuela & Sort, J., 2008. "Lagging rural areas: detection, diagnosis and planning development," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium, European Association of Agricultural Economists 44437, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Javier Manuel Romani Fernandez & Jordi Surinach Caralt & Manuel Artis Ortuno, 2001. "Are commuting and residential mobility decisions simultaneous?: the case of catalonia," Working Papers in Economics, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia 73, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.


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