Spatial flows and spatial patterns
The misspecification of gravity spatial interaction models has recently been described by the author. The bias in parameter estimates that results from such misspecification appears to produce the 'map pattern effect' or 'spatial structure bias' in estimated distance-decay parameters. A further aspect of the misspecification bias in gravity parameter estimates is explored here. The severity of the bias is shown to vary in a predictable manner with variations in spatial structure. In particular, the bias is shown to be dependent upon the pattern of accessibility that exists with a spatial system. The relevant aspects of this pattern are discussed for intraurban and interurban (or interregional) flow matrices. It is shown that from an examination of the spatial structure of centres in a spatial system it is possible, a priori, to identify whether significant bias will arise in the calibration of a gravity model. Certain configurations of centres are shown theoretically to produce maximal bias. The author thus answers the question, "why do gravity parameter estimates appear to be biased in some systems but not in others?"
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