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Alonso's General Theory of Movement: Advances in Spatial Interaction Modeling


  • Jacob J. de Vries

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Peter Nijkamp

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Piet Rietveld

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


The Spatial Interaction Model proposed by Alonso as "Theory ofMovements" offers a new specification of spatial origin-destination flow models. Equations for flows between regions, totaloutflow from and total inflow to a region are linked bybalancing factors. The paper presents a consistent formulation ofSpatial Interaction Models in the Wilson tradition andAlonso's General Theory of Movement. It will be demonstrated thatAlonso's model contains Wilson's Family of SpatialInteraction Models as special cases, but that the reverse is nottrue. The paper discusses interpretations of the model andanalyzes its statistical properties. Several approaches will bediscussed which aim to make the meaning of the balancingfactors more explicit. The paper shows that simultaneous equationtechniques are required to estimate the variousrelevant parameters.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob J. de Vries & Peter Nijkamp & Piet Rietveld, 2000. "Alonso's General Theory of Movement: Advances in Spatial Interaction Modeling," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-062/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20000062

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. A G Wilson, 1980. "Comments on Alonso's ‘Theory of Movement’," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 12(6), pages 727-732, June.
    2. Tabuchi, Takatoshi, 1984. "The systemic variables and elasticities in Alonso's general, theory of movement," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 249-264, May.
    3. Porell, Frank W. & Hua, Chang-I, 1981. "An econometric procedure for estimation of a generalized systemic gravity model under incomplete information about the system," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 585-606, November.
    4. Carey, Henry Charles, 1858. "Principle of social science," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number carey1858.
    5. Poot, Jacques, 1986. "A System Approach to Modelling the Inter-urban Exchange of Workers in New Zealand," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 33(3), pages 249-274, August.
    6. Nijkamp, Peter & Reggiani, Aura, 1988. "Entropy, spatial interaction models and discrete choice analysis: Static and dynamic analogies," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 186-196, August.
    7. Anselin, Luc, 1982. "Implicit functional relationships between systematic effects in a general model of movement," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 365-380, August.
    8. Bikker, Jacob A, 1987. "An International Trade Flow Model with Substitution: An Extension of the Gravity Model," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 315-337.
    9. J Ledent, 1981. "On the Relationship between Alonso's Theory of Movement and Wilson's Family of Spatial-Interaction Models," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 13(2), pages 217-224, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philipp Marek & Mirko Titze & Clemens Fuhrmeister & Ulrich Blum, 2017. "R&D collaborations and the role of proximity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(12), pages 1761-1773, December.
    2. Fuhrmeister, Clemens & Titze, Mirko & Blum, Ulrich & Marek, Philipp, 2014. "Does Proximity Matter in the Choice of Partners in Collaborative R&D Projects? – An Empirical Analysis of Granted Projects in Germany," IWH Discussion Papers 12/2014, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    3. Etzo, Ivan, 2008. "Internal migration: a review of the literature," MPRA Paper 8783, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Jerzy Michalek & Nana Zarnekow, 2012. "Application of the Rural Development Index to Analysis of Rural Regions in Poland and Slovakia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 1-37, January.

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