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A gravity equation for commuting with an application to estimating regional border effects in Belgium

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  • Damiaan Persyn
  • Wouter Torfs

Abstract

This article derives a gravity equation for commuting and uses it to identify the effect of regional borders on commuting. We build on the seminal trade paper by Anderson and Van Wincoop (2003, Gravity with gravitas: a solution to the border puzzle. The American Economic Review, 93: 170–192) and highlight some interesting similarities between our model and Wilson’s doubly constrained gravity equation [Wilson, A. (2010) Entropy in urban and regional modelling: retrospect and prospect. Geographical analysis, 42: 364–394], a workhorse model from spatial interaction theory. The model is estimated by applying a negative binomial regression method on Belgian inter-municipal commuting data. We show that regional borders exert a sizeable residual deterrent effect on commuting, a finding with obvious implications for regional labour market integration. This border effect differs significantly between regions and depends on the direction in which the border is crossed.

Suggested Citation

  • Damiaan Persyn & Wouter Torfs, 2016. "A gravity equation for commuting with an application to estimating regional border effects in Belgium," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 155-175.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:16:y:2016:i:1:p:155-175.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeg/lbv003
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    Cited by:

    1. J.W.A.M. Steegmans & Jonathan de Bruin, 2019. "Online housing search and gravity models," Working Papers 19-17, Utrecht School of Economics.
    2. Angela Parenti & Cristina Tealdi, 2017. "Does the abolition of border controls boost cross-border commuting? Evidence from Switzerland," Discussion Papers 2017/213, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Christodoulou, Aris & Christidis, Panayotis, 2020. "Bridges across borders: A clustering approach to support EU regional policy," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    4. Moises Lenyn Obaco Alvarez & Vicente Royuela & Xavier Vítores, 2016. "Computing functional urban areas using a hierarchical travel time approach," ERSA conference papers ersa16p238, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Roberta Capello & Andrea Caragliu & Ugo Fratesi, 2018. "Breaking Down the Border: Physical, Institutional and Cultural Obstacles," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 94(5), pages 485-513, October.
    6. Jacint Balaguer & Jordi Ripollés, 2018. "Revisiting the importance of border effect in sub‐national regions. Evidence from a quasi‐experimental design," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 1113-1130, November.
    7. Daniel Kuehn, 2016. "Spillover Bias in Cross-Border Minimum Wage Studies: Evidence from a Gravity Model," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 441-459, December.
    8. Anna-Theresa Renner & Dieter Pennerstorfer, 2020. "Modeling inter-regional patient mobility: Does distance go far enough?," Economics working papers 2020-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    9. Sigbjørn Sødal, 2017. "A Gravity Approach to Constructing Regional Structures from Interregional Flow Data," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 23(4), pages 361-377, November.
    10. Willem Sas, 2017. "Can fiscal equalisation mitigate tax competition? Ad valorem and residence-based taxation in a federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(5), pages 817-853, September.
    11. Bowen Chen & Changyan Wu & Xianjin Huang & Xuefeng Yang, 2020. "Examining the Relationship between Urban Land Expansion and Economic Linkage Using Coupling Analysis: A Case Study of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-21, February.
    12. Balaguer, Jacint & Ripollés, Jordi, 2018. "Disentangling the importance of international border effects. Some evidence from Portugal–Spain based on diesel retailers," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 260-269.
    13. Parenti, Angela & Tealdi, Cristina, 2019. "Does the Implementation of the Schengen Agreement Boost Cross-Border Commuting? Evidence from Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 12754, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. A. N. Bochkarev, 2019. "Methodological Aspects of Studying Labor Commuting," Regional Research of Russia, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 173-180, April.
    15. Vandyck, Toon & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2018. "Regional labor markets, commuting, and the economic impact of road pricing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 217-236.
    16. Çekyay, Bora & Kabak, Özgür & Ülengin, Füsun & Ulengin, Burç & Toktaş Palut, Peral & Özaydın, Özay, 2020. "A multi-commodity network flow and gravity model integration for analyzing impact of road transport quotas on international trade," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    17. Aris Christodoulou & Panayotis Christidis, 2019. "Cross-border transport infrastructure in the EU," JRC Working Papers JRC113364, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

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