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Commuters’ non-linear response to time distances


  • Börje Johansson
  • Johan Klaesson
  • Michael Olsson



Established analyses of labour market commuting are based on random choice models and gravity type models. In these models generalised transport costs are formulated as exponential or log-linear distance dependent functions. This paper presents empirical observations, which imply that time distances influence the commuting behaviour in a non-linear way, such that the time sensitivity is much lower for very short and long distances, whereas intermediate distances display a high time sensitivity. This is explained in a model that is parameterised and estimated. The results are important for understanding and predicting commuter behaviour. It also helps to delineate space, as in classical traditions, into local, intra-regional and extra-regional space. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Börje Johansson & Johan Klaesson & Michael Olsson, 2003. "Commuters’ non-linear response to time distances," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 315-329, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jgeosy:v:5:y:2003:i:3:p:315-329
    DOI: 10.1007/s10109-003-0111-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ningchuan Xiao & David A Bennett & Marc P Armstrong, 2002. "Using evolutionary algorithms to generate alternatives for multiobjective site-search problems," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(4), pages 639-656, April.
    2. Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
    3. M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Duczmal, Luiz & Cancado, Andre L.F. & Takahashi, Ricardo H.C. & Bessegato, Lupercio F., 2007. "A genetic algorithm for irregularly shaped spatial scan statistics," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 43-52, September.
    5. Luc Anselin, 2000. "Geographical Spillovers and University Research: A Spatial EconometricPerspective," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 501-515.
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    More about this item


    Commuting; random choice; time distances; time sensitivity; labour markets; R41; R23; L91;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General


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