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Modelling residential location choice in an area with spatial barriers


  • Jan Ubøe

    (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Helleveien 30, n-5045 Bergen, Norway)

  • Inge Thorsen

    () (Stord/Haugesund College, Bjørnsonsgt. 45, 5528 Haugesund, Norway)


A model is presented for residential location choice in rural areas with spatial barriers. We address the problem through comparative static analysis focusing on how residential location choices are affected by a new road link across the spatial barrier. We proceed through a probability theoretical approach: choose a family of utility functions representing every possible location, and equip this family with a probability measure. Then choose a representative within an equivalence class of utility functions, and represent the probability distribution by a parametrized family of distributions. Our analysis demonstrates that investments in new road links do not necessarily represent an adequate instrument for achieving ambitions in regional policy. We identify reasonable situations where a new road link could just as easily generate net migration from the area in which the investments are directed. In general, our analysis demonstrates how agglomeration and centralisation tendencies can be considerably affected by transportation infrastructure innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Ubøe & Inge Thorsen, 2002. "Modelling residential location choice in an area with spatial barriers," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 36(4), pages 613-644.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:36:y:2002:i:4:p:613-644
    Note: Received: June 1999/Accepted: June 2001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diewert, W E, 1992. "The Measurement of Productivity," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 163-198, July.
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    More about this item

    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
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise


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