Borrowed sizes: A hedonic price approach to the value of network structure in public transport systems

Helena Bohman and Désirée Nilsson, Journal of transport and land use, January 2021

Property prices are known to be higher in places with high accessibility, such as in proximity to train stations and especially to commuter rail, than in places without this access. This study provides a better understanding of how regional accessibility, through the structure of railway networks, can influence local agglomeration economies by providing accessibility to large labor markets. Previous literature has shown a positive impact of proximity to railway stations on housing prices, and our study adds to the literature by analyzing the impact of network structure. We argue that public transport systems can support the benefits of city networks in line with Alonso’s concept of borrowed sizes (1973). Using network theory to measure accessibility provided by the network, we show that stations that provide accessibility to large labor markets across the region are perceived as more attractive by households. Cities in proximity to other cities are strengthened through their public transport links, which allow agglomeration benefits to be exploited by residents.

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