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Spatial interaction models from Irish commuting data: variations in trip length by occupation and gender


  • Morton O’Kelly


  • Michael Niedzielski
  • Justin Gleeson


Core and peripheral contrasts in journey-to-work trip length can be interpreted as imputing the relative value of origin and destination accessibility (yielding theoretical proxies for rent and wages). Because the main variables are shown to be critically dependent on spatial structure, they may be interpreted as showing the shadow prices due to comparative location. There is also a unifying connection between these results and the existing literature on many dimensions: rent gradients, accessibility, and emissivity. In an empirical example, the advantages of a panoramic view of national commuting statistics are shown, using an Irish data set. Variations in the rates of participation in trip making by location, occupation, and gender are examined. Places that emit more trips than would be expected from their relative location are identified. Further, examining ways in which such emissivity is sensitive to a change in trip length highlights the regions where trips could possibly be adjusted to produce a shorter average trip length or which might be especially sensitive to reduction in employment. A careful reinterpretation of one of the key outputs from a calibrated spatial interaction model is shown to be consistent with the declining rent gradient expected from Alonso’s theory of land use. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Morton O’Kelly & Michael Niedzielski & Justin Gleeson, 2012. "Spatial interaction models from Irish commuting data: variations in trip length by occupation and gender," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 357-387, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jgeosy:v:14:y:2012:i:4:p:357-387
    DOI: 10.1007/s10109-011-0159-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1989. "Wasteful Commuting Again," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1497-1504, December.
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    8. Wheaton, William C., 1974. "Linear programming and locational equilibrium : The Herbert-Stevens model revisited," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 278-287, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Watts, 2016. "Analytical and conceptual issues in the interpretation of doubly constrained spatial interaction models," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 189-200, July.
    2. Xiao Li & Steven Farber, 2016. "Spatial representation in the social interaction potential metric: an analysis of scale and parameter sensitivity," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 331-357, October.
    3. Niedzielski, Michael A. & Horner, Mark W. & Xiao, Ningchuan, 2013. "Analyzing scale independence in jobs-housing and commute efficiency metrics," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 129-143.

    More about this item


    Commuting; Journey-to-work; Spatial interaction; R12; R23;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population


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