Organization of Land Surrounding Airports: The Case of the Aerotropolis

Ricardo Flores-Fillol, Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López and Rosella Nicolini


We analyze the conditions driving the organization of the territory near airports by studying the distribution of economic activities. We consider how commercial firms, service operators, and consumers compete for land. The theoretical setting identifies an aerotropolis (airport city) as a land equilibrium outcome characterized by the following spatial sequence: services area, commercial area, residential area. Using data on the distribution of establishments in the United States, we analyze the existence and determinants of aeropolitan configurations. Estimations performed with parametric methods detect some interesting dynamic patterns affecting the density and distribution of activities around selected U.S. airports. (JEL R12, R15)

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