Road accessibility and cohesion in lagging regions: Empirical evidence from Portugal based on spatial econometric models

A number of transportation infrastructure projects were conducted in Europe during the 1990s with the explicit objective of promoting regional cohesion goals through the improvement of the accessibility of peripheral regions. Given its peripheral situation in the Union, Portugal was a key target for some of these projects. A decade later, it is pertinent to ask whether the new infrastructure achieved its objective of promoting lagging regions. The objective of this paper is to analyze one of the lagging regions in Portugal, to try to establish the link between changes in accessibility levels brought by improvements in the transportation network, and two indicators commonly used in accessibility research (population and purchasing power), while controlling other variables of possible relevance, such as the levels of educational achievement of the population in the region. The analysis is based on the use of spatially autoregressive models which allow the representation of accessibility as spatially lagged variables of first and second order. The results place the contribution of accessibility changes in context, and point at the relevance of education as an alternative policy.


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  • Accession Number: 01147967
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 28 2009 1:12PM