U.S.-Austria Cooperative Research: The Econometrics of Spatial Search Processes (Social and Economic Science)
Peter Rogerson Principal Investigator
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This award will support a one-year cooperative research project between Professor Peter A. Rogerson, Department of Geography, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Mag. Gunther Maier, Institute for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Economics, Vienna, Austria. The primary goal of this research is to develop and evaluate methods for making practical applications of various mathematical models that have been constructed in the field of optimal search theory. In this study, particular emphasis will be given to search processes that have a spatial aspect, that is, where variables such as location and distance are important in the search decisions, as they would likely be, for example, to an individual searching for housing or employment. The cooperating scientists expect to contribute to the theory of spatial search processes and to investigate the possibilities and potentials for empirical estimation and application of these processes. They will study the relationship between optimal search models and so-called discrete choice models. Spatial search is central to a broad body of geographic theory. The work to be carried out here has potential application in modeling such areas as consumer behavior, journey-to-work decisions, recreational preferences, housing-market searches, and labor migration, among others. Complementary skills, knowledge, and experiences of the two investigators will be combined in the project. Professor Rogerson's background includes geography and mathematics, and he has particular expertise in the area of optimal search processes. His Austrian colleague has a background in economics and is especially knowledgeable about the discrete choice model, which is relevant to the spatial search processes being studied here. Previous collaboration between the scientists has been productive, and this current study will broaden and extend their past efforts.