Assessing core-periphery relation through travel patterns - The case of Israel

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There is an urgent need for understanding the processes through which investments in transport infrastructure modify the economic geography landscape of a region or country. The “New Economic Geography” (NEG) suggests that the concentration of economic activities is determined by ‘centripetal’ and ‘centrifugal’ forces which in turn determine the balance between the economic and geographical core and periphery regions. Transport can, and should be, understood as the balancing factor between these forces. In order to take a snapshot of core-periphery relation in a country, travel patterns between centre and periphery in Israel in 2007 are analysed using Mobile Phone signal tracking. Results show that despite Israel being a very small country the level of inter-regional travel as a proportion of overall travel is small. Furthermore, despite the clear economic core in Israel (the Metropolitan area of Tel Aviv), the periphery regions seem to remain independent. Yet, analysis of the inter-regional travel that does take place suggests a greater dependence of (travel from) the periphery to the centre than vice versa. This in turn suggests that investments in more long-distance transport infrastructure in Israel would further increase the dependency of the periphery on the centre and could increase core-periphery disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Transportation Economics
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Core-periphery
  • Investment in transport
  • Long-distance travel
  • New economic geography
  • Transport infrastructure
  • Travel patterns


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