Economic activity and transportation access: An econometric analysis of business spatial patterns

Felipe Targa*, Kelly J. Clifton, Hani S. Mahmassani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Several studies of transportation and economic development impacts have recognized the extent to which changes in accessibility triggered by transportation improvements may translate into business cost savings and contribute to a region's economic competitiveness. This paper specifies and empirically tests a general model that captures the intensity of business activity (at the zip code level) as a function of local and regional accessibility, agglomeration economies, and region-specific effects. The geographic area of analysis is a four-county region in Maryland. The econometric analysis establishes a significant association between transportation supply and business activity in the study area. The findings suggest a clear positive association between access to primary highway facilities and the level of economic activity. The results also confirm expectations that roads with higher functional form and capacity are likely to be spatially associated with a higher intensity of economic activity. The models described in the paper provide the basis for examining regional economic effects related to new transportation facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1932
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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