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Accessibility gains and road transport infrastructure in Spain: A productivity approach based on the Malmquist index


  • Maroto, Andrés
  • Zofío, José Luis


Accessibility, the relative access to markets, is a strategic concept in all economic models with a spatial dimension and its prominence has been acknowledged in many economic research fields and policy debates. This paper is based on the assumption that infrastructure drives economic accessibility and, therefore, we can assimilate a production function approach where the road network constitutes a set of inputs yielding access to markets as output. Methodologically, we originally measure the infrastructure inputs accounting for the real used network and calculate a series of new final and intermediate demand gravity-based and locational indicators, which capture a wide range of economic transactions and represent different concepts of economic accessibility outputs. The value added of this paper is translating a non-parametric frontier approach (DEA) to a dynamic scope (Malmquist indices) by connecting the regional accessibility to the productivity of the road infrastructure inputs associated with each region. Results during 1995–2005 show a low relative accessibility of the Spanish NUTS-3 regions, although improvements have been greater over the last five years. Finally, we observe a U-inverted relationship between the accessibility gains during these years and the geographical localization.

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  • Maroto, Andrés & Zofío, José Luis, 2016. "Accessibility gains and road transport infrastructure in Spain: A productivity approach based on the Malmquist index," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 143-152.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jotrge:v:52:y:2016:i:c:p:143-152
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2016.03.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rui Xiao & Guofeng Wang & Meng Wang, 2018. "Transportation Disadvantage and Neighborhood Sociodemographics: A Composite Indicator Approach to Examining Social Inequalities," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 29-43, May.
    2. Houyem Zrelli & Abdullah H. Alsharif & Iskander Tlili, 2020. "Malmquist Indexes of Productivity Change in Tunisian Manufacturing Industries," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(4), pages 1-20, February.
    3. Wang, Chao & Lim, Ming K. & Zhang, Xinyi & Zhao, Longfeng & Lee, Paul Tae-Woo, 2020. "Railway and road infrastructure in the Belt and Road Initiative countries: Estimating the impact of transport infrastructure on economic growth," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 288-307.

    More about this item


    Productivity change; Malmquist indices; Distance functions; Accessibility; Transport costs;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning


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