Regional Growth and Traffic Accessibility in Central Europe
Wolgang Polasek
Institute for Advanced Studies

Abstract: We estimate the sensitivity of the regional growth forecast in the year 2002 resulting from changes in the travel time (TT) matrix. We use a dynamic panel model with spatial effects where the spatial dimension enters the explanatory variables in different ways. The spatial dimension is based on geographical distance between 227 regions in central Europe and the travel time matrix based on average train travel times. The regressor variables are constructed by a) the average past growth rates, where the travel times are used as weights, b) the average travel times across all regions (made comparable by index construction), c) the gravity potential variables based on GDP per capita, employment, productivity and population and d) dummy variables and other socio-demographic variables. We find that for the majority of the regions the relative differences in growth for the year 2020 is rather small if the accessibility is improved. But there are differences as how many regions will benefit from improved train networks: GDP, employment, and population forecasts respond differently.