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The Economics of Spatial Mobility


Time: 10:00 am-11:30 am, Feb. 25, 2022

Platform: Zoom

Speaker: Yuhei Miyauchi

(Boston University)

Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81626164288?pwd=Zmp1VG41dXF0by9UZTBRVkxSbjJWZz09

Meeting ID: 816 2616 4288

Passcode: inse



We provide new theory and evidence on how spatial mobility shapes the spatial distribution of economic activity within urban areas. Using smartphone data for Japan, we show that non-commuting trips frequently occur along trip chains, in which people stop at multiple destinations within a single trip starting from and ending at home. Motivated by the stylized facts, we develop a tractable theoretical model of travel itineraries, in which agents choose a set and the sequence of locations to visit each day. We overcome the resulting high-dimensionality of the choice set using importance sampling methods. We show that our estimated model successfully accounts for the pattern of spatial mobility and economic activity, including the collapse in foot traffic in downtown areas during the Covid-19 pandemic.





Prof. Yuhei Miyauchi is an assistant professor at the Department of Economics at Boston University. His primary research theme is to understand how production and demand linkages shape socio-economic activity within cities and across regions and countries. He tackles these questions using a combination of theory and new sources of granular data, such as cell phone, smartphone transaction data and firm-level transaction data. He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT in 2018.