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Investigaciones geográficas

On-line version ISSN 2448-7279Print version ISSN 0188-4611

Abstract

VALDIVIA LOPEZ, Marcos; AVILA SANCHEZ, Héctor  and  GALINDO PEREZ, Carlos. Friction of distance, spatial autocorrelation of productivity and impact of the length of roads on the convergence dynamics in the central region of Mexico (1993-2003). Invest. Geog [online]. 2010, n.71, pp.72-87. ISSN 2448-7279.

This paper studies the spatial autocorrelation of labor productivity and economic convergence dynamics at the municipality level through the consideration of different measurements of the friction of distance. Typically, friction of distance is analyzed under a gravitational modeling perspective, but in this paper we propose that friction of distance can also be studied through spatial autocorrelation statistics such as the Moran's index. In this research, it is postulated that the measurements of spatial dependence in economic activity depend strongly on the specific functional form that characterizes friction of distance. In order to empirically verify this idea, this research takes as study cases the central region of Mexico and the state of Morelos, and it is showed that spatial dependence of labor productivity is statistically more significant when real distance road is used between two regional units of analysis instead of Euclidian distance or contiguity distance-based criteria. Finally, the paper establishes that the economic convergence process during the period 1993-2003 was conditioned by spatial interaction effects associated to the roads that connect localities in the region. The results can be relevant for economic convergence studies because it proposes a spatial interaction criterion that responds better to the specific geographical conditions that affect the determinants of growth such as transportation costs and agglomeration economies.

Keywords : Friction of distance; spatial autocorrelation; regional convergence; productivity.

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