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Transport in regional science: The “death of distance” is premature


  • Piet Rietveld


  • Roger Vickerman



Transport costs have always been an important dimension in regional science. It is therefore remarkable that regional science and transport economics have developed in a rather unconnected way. Although being distinct, the routes of the two were parallel, and there are signs that the two fields will get closer to each other. This paper further discusses long run trends in transport costs and the potential spatial consequences. The main conclusion is that although in terms of money and time, the performance of transport has improved enormously, many economic activities have not become footloose to the extent as expressed by the notion of ‘death of distance’. One of the reasons discussed is the role of transaction costs, some being clearly related with distance. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Piet Rietveld & Roger Vickerman, 2003. "Transport in regional science: The “death of distance” is premature," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 83(1), pages 229-248, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:presci:v:83:y:2003:i:1:p:229-248 DOI: 10.1007/s10110-003-0184-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter, 2007. "Outsourcing and trade in a spatial world," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 441-470, November.
    2. Don J. Webber & Michael Horswell, 2009. "Microeconomic foundations of geographical variations in labour productivity," Working Papers 0913, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    3. Verma, Ashish & Sudhira, H.S. & Rathi, Sujaya & King, Robin & Dash, Nibedita, 2013. "Sustainable urbanization using high speed rail (HSR) in Karnataka, India," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 67-77.
    4. Vickerman, Roger, 2003. "Transport in an Integrating Europe: Sustainable Development and Cohesion," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 3, pages 163-174.


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