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Consumer city: evidence from smartphone data
Yuhei Miyauchi, Kentaro Nakajima and Stephen J. Redding
August 2021
Paper No' :

Tags: economic geography; technological change; cities; transport; consumerism; labour markets

Traditional theories emphasise production decisions and the commuting costs of workers in shaping the spatial concentration of economic activity in cities. However, much of urban travel is related to consumption of non-traded services, such as trips to restaurants, shopping centres, and cultural venues. This column looks at commuting and non-commuting trips within the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area to explore how consumption access can explain the observed spatial variation in economic activity. Access to consumption opportunities and to employment opportunities both matter; focusing solely on commuting trips provides a misleading picture of travel patterns.