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Domestic tourism demand in Italy: a Fixed Effect Vector Decomposition estimation


  • Massidda, Carla
  • Etzo, Ivan


This study investigates the main determinants of the Italian domestic tourism demand measured in terms of regional bilateral tourism flows. We consider a large panel of explanatory variables meant to capture not only the role of traditional economic demand-driven forces, but also qualitative supply-side factors that can be crucial in determining the comparative advantage of the exporting regions. The empirical analysis, performed in the context of an extended gravity model, builds on the Fixed Effect Vector Decomposition estimator (FEVD) developed by Plümper and Troeger (2007). The investigation is conducted for the country as a whole and separately for the two macro-areas, namely the Centre-North and the South. According to our results, at aggregate level, the main determinants of Italian tourism flows appear to be the lagged dependent variable, which control for reputation and habit formation, and relative prices. Also the per capita GDP plays a significant role, but its coefficient suggests that in Italy domestic tourism does not behave as a luxury good, as frequently found in the international tourism context. Another interesting result is that for Italian tourists, domestic destinations and international destinations act as substitutable goods. At sub-sample level two main findings are worth noting. On the one hand, the main outcomes of the full sample analysis are confirmed, on the other hand some interesting differences arise with respect to the impact of the relevant variables. In particular, tourists coming from the southern regions appear to be more concerned than northern ones about variations in their per capita GDP and in price differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Massidda, Carla & Etzo, Ivan, 2010. "Domestic tourism demand in Italy: a Fixed Effect Vector Decomposition estimation," MPRA Paper 26073, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26073

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Santeramo, Fabio G. & Seccia, Antonio & De Blasi, Giuseppe & Carlucci, Domenico, 2008. "Agritourism flows to Italy: an analysis of determinants using the gravity model approach," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6623, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Naudé, Wim & Saayman, Andrea, 2005. "Determinants of tourist arrivals in Africa: a panel data regression analysis," MPRA Paper 16479, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Plümper, Thomas & Troeger, Vera E., 2007. "Efficient Estimation of Time-Invariant and Rarely Changing Variables in Finite Sample Panel Analyses with Unit Fixed Effects," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 124-139, March.
    4. Cornwell, Christopher & Rupert, Peter, 1988. "Efficient Estimation with Panel Data: An Empirical Comparison of Instrumental Variables Estimators," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(2), pages 149-155, April.
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    More about this item


    Domestic tourism flows; Gravity model; Fixed Effect Vector Decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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