IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Transitivity, spatially separable utility functions, and United States migration streams, 1935 - 1970

Listed author(s):
  • T R Smith
  • C Clayton
Registered author(s):

    The predictions of spatial-interaction models applied to migration systems may be viewed as the outcome of expected-utility maximization in which the average beliefs and preferences at a given origin are spatially separable. This theory indicates that a test of the spatial separability of the utilities may be performed by examining the degree of transitivity in probabilities and gross flows that is predicted by the spatial-interaction models. United States migration data for four periods between 1935 and 1970 were examined for transitivity at three spatial scales of resolution. These flows all exhibited significantly high degrees of transitivity, although for no period or scale of resolution were migration flows completely without some statistically significant intransitivities in either the probabilities or gross flows. The regions involved in intransitivities varied greatly from period to period, and only weak evidence indicated lower degrees of intransitivity for local aggregates of regions. The hypothesis of spatially separable utilities must be rejected for the migration data examined. Theoretical discussion indicates that several causes may lead to intransitivities, which in turn lead to problems in applying spatial-interaction models to migration data.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

    Volume (Year): 10 (1978)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 399-414

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:10:y:1978:i:4:p:399-414
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:10:y:1978:i:4:p:399-414. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.