Evaluating accessibility changes and socio-economic development in Mexico’s "Montaña de Guerrero” region

Authors: Jessica Villena Sanchez*, University of Denver, Jean-Claude Thill, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Paul Jung, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Luis Chias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Topics: Transportation Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Regional Geography
Keywords: accessibility, economic development, spatial statistics, transportation, Mexico, rural
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In Mexico, 98.1% of the localities are rural and concentrate 23.2% of the country’s population. These data indicate that although there are large urban centers in Mexico, the country is still largely rural. Particularly, the Montaña de Guerrero region stands out as it presents significant disadvantages related to its high level of isolation and rugged geography. However, the Federal Mexican Government reported that in 2000 the state of Guerrero received the fifth highest budget allocation exclusively aimed at the construction of rural roads; in 2004 and 2006, Guerrero ranked first in the nation. Consequently, considerable investments in the Montaña de Guerrero rural road network have been made. In this context, the present research seeks to measure the changes in the accessibility of the Montaña rural road network between 1990 and 2010 to determine the magnitude of these changes and their spatial distribution. First, an accessibility indicator is established based on the time it takes to travel from each rural locality (origins) to each municipality (destinations) in and around the study region in 1990, 2000 and 2010. The changes in accessibility over this period of twenty years are measured and cartographically represented. Next, these space-time panel series are analyzed with several spatial econometric models of socio-economic development across the region with several control variables. Results are interpreted through a discussion of causal imputations and spatial dependence. It is argued that territorial cohesion within the Mexican rural context is difficult to attain. Lastly, modeling and policy implications are discussed.

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