Spatial Evaulation of Road Expansion and Economic Performance in Thailand
Keywords:Road, Nightlights, Geography, GIS, Spatial Economics
This paper aims to find the correlation between the expansion of road networks and the economic performance in Thailand; growth and inequality. The expansion of road networks is segregated into two cases, namely, growth of national highways and of rural roads. The research aims to specify which type of road generates higher economic growth and lower inequality. Road network data are used in the study to investigate the development of the road network during the 10-year period and to subsequently specify economic activities around the affected area. The proxy of economic activity is determined by night-time light data, which can be observed from outer space. Results found that national highways have a strong relationship with provincial growth enhancement and inequality reduction, and higher than the relationship of rural roads. However, if the roads are built in the area with high road congestion, they will increase higher growth but higher inequality relative to the area with low road congestion. The implication is that the government should balance the trade-off between growth and inequality when they expand road networks.
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