A framework for exploratory space-time analysis of economic data

Xinyue Ye, Sergio Rey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The development of exploratory spatial data analysis methods is an active research domain in the field of geographic information science (GIS). At the same time, the coupled space-time attributes of economic phenomena are difficult to be represented and examined. Both GIS and economic geography are faced with the challenges of dealing with the temporal dynamics of geographic processes and spatial dynamics of economic development across scales and dimensions. This paper thus suggests a novel way to generalize the characteristics and the structure of space-time data sets, using regional economic data as the example. Accordingly, a reasonable number of general questions (data analysis tasks) can be abstracted. Then, tools (methods) may be suggested on that basis. The cross-fertilization between exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) and spatial economics is also identified and illustrated by the capabilities of these components, which have uncovered some interesting patterns and trends in the spatial income data of China and the United States. Through exploratory analysis of economic data, the detection of rich details of underlying geographical and temporal processes would be the first step toward such cross-fertilization. In addition, this exploratory analytical framework can be applied to other data sets that are also measured for areal units at multiple points in time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-339
Number of pages25
JournalAnnals of Regional Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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