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Gravity modeling in social science: the case of the commuting phenomenon in Greece


  • Dimitrios Tsiotas

    () (University of Thessaly)

  • George Aspridis

    () (Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Nea Ktiria)

  • Ioannis Gavardinas

    () (University of Thessaly)

  • Labros Sdrolias

    () (Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Nea Ktiria)

  • Dagmar Škodová-Parmová

    () (University of South Bohemia)


Abstract This article empirically examines the utility of the gravity modeling in regard to its explanatory resolution, to its power against linearity, and to its geographical scale (intercity vs. interregional). For this purpose, the analysis is performed towards three directions; the first regards the model structure and examines how the number of explanatory variables (drafted from a pool of available predictors) affects the model determination, the second examines the model type, comparing the same predictor configurations entered to gravity multivariate linear regression models, and the third examines the changes induced corresponding interregional and intercity gravity models due to the effect of geographical scale. The analysis shows that the gravity modeling is generally effective in the study of systems of spatio-economic interaction, where the use of its standard expression appears a safe and simple choice. However, this model may also attain many effective extended expressions, and thus, it can be functional in higher complexity demand. Overall, this paper sheds some light to the interregional commuting for the case of Greece and highlights the utility of gravity model in the fields of Econophysics and of economic modeling.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitrios Tsiotas & George Aspridis & Ioannis Gavardinas & Labros Sdrolias & Dagmar Škodová-Parmová, 2019. "Gravity modeling in social science: the case of the commuting phenomenon in Greece," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 139-158, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eaiere:v:16:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s40844-018-0120-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s40844-018-0120-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sandow, Erika, 2008. "Commuting behaviour in sparsely populated areas: evidence from northern Sweden," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 14-27.
    2. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Stress that Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 339-366, June.
    3. Serafeim Polyzos & Dimitrios Tsiotas & Spyros Niavis, 2015. "Analyzing the Location Decisions of Agro-Industrial Investments in Greece," International Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Information Systems (IJAEIS), IGI Global, vol. 6(2), pages 77-100, April.
    4. Jacob J de Vries & Peter Nijkamp & Piet Rietveld, 2009. "Exponential or Power Distance-Decay for Commuting? An Alternative Specification," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 41(2), pages 461-480, February.
    5. Chris Lloyd & Ian Shuttleworth, 2005. "Analysing commuting using local regression techniques: scale, sensitivity, and geographical patterning," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(1), pages 81-103, January.
    6. McArthur, David Philip & Kleppe, Gisle & Thorsen, Inge & Ubøe, Jan, 2011. "The spatial transferability of parameters in a gravity model of commuting flows," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 596-605.
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    More about this item


    Econophysics; Gravity model; Extended gravity model; Multivariate linear regression model;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General


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