Authors: Pelayo Arbués, José F. Baños
This paper presents an innovative approach to analyzing road vehicle freight traffic that uses a dynamic panel data specification derived from a gravity model. This dynamic approach, which has recently been employed in international goods trade models in lieu of the traditional static specification, is applied to the case of Spain using data for the countrys 15 NUTS-3 regions between 1999 and 2009. Using the system general method of moments approach, we obtained significant evidence that the flow of vehicles carrying commodities by road has a strong persistence effect when controlling for unobserved heterogeneity. We also found that the quality of road transport infrastructure has a significant impact on vehicle trips. According to our findings, we suggest that this type of specification be employed in distribution models in which fixed effects and lags of the dependent variable are included to account for unobserved heterogeneity and persistence effects, respectively.