Exponential or Power Distance-Decay for Commuting? An Alternative Specification

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 04-097/3

32 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2004

See all articles by Jacob J. de Vries

Jacob J. de Vries

VU University Amsterdam

Peter Nijkamp

VU University of Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Piet Rietveld

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics (Deceased)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

In this paper we determine the effect of transport cost on commuting flows, on the basis of an analysis of home-to-work journeys between municipalities in Denmark. Special attention is given to a proper estimation method and the form of the distance-decay function. It appears that neither an exponential nor a power distance-decay function fits the data well. The specification of log trips as a (downwards) logistic function of log cost results in a better fit. We find that the cost elasticity of commuting reaches a value of -4 for distances around 24 km, while it is close to 0 for both very short and very long distances. Finally, we demonstrate that the choice of functional form for distance-decay can make an important difference for predictions concerning the effect of infrastructure improvements on commuting flows.

Keywords: Spatial interaction, distance-decay function, commuting, Denmark, estimation, heteroscedasticity

JEL Classification: C21, J61, R15, R23

Suggested Citation

de Vries, Jacob J. and Nijkamp, Peter and Rietveld, Piet, Exponential or Power Distance-Decay for Commuting? An Alternative Specification (September 2004). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 04-097/3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=587321 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.587321

Jacob J. De Vries (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

Department of Spatial Economics
De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://personal.vu.nl/j.j.de.vries/

Peter Nijkamp

VU University of Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 4446091 (Phone)
+31 20 4445611 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

Piet Rietveld

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics (Deceased)

De Boelelaan 1105
1081HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 4446097 (Phone)
+31 20 4446004 (Fax)

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