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Examining Neighbourhood Effects in Regional Inequalities of Hungary: a GIS-Based Approach from Topological Relations to Neighbourhood Heterogeneity

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Author(s): ÁKOS JAKOBI

Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: VII;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 53;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Methodology | GIS | Topological relations | Neighbourhood | Spatial autocorrelation | Hungary

ABSTRACT
There is an increasing number of popular works, which explain regional inequalities of the economy and the society with spatial location. Techniques like spatial autocorrelation or spatial clustering became basic methods of mainstream examinations. These methods put geographical location, or more precisely the neighbourhood effects, in the focus of the researches. The typical research questions originate from Waldo Tobler’s classical law of geography, namely that “everything is related to everything else, but closer things are more closely related”. According to the research assumptions, the regions that are neighbours in geographical space are usually similar to each other also in socio-economic sense. For the examination of neighbourhood effects, GIS (Geographical Information Systems) may serve as a quite useful tool. By the application of GIS programmes, the topological relation of the examined objects can be straightforwardly defined. Additionally results of examinations with different methodological approach can be also easily compared. This paper, on the one hand, introduces both different methods of defining neighbourhood relations and the application of GIS in determining contiguity. On the other hand, it reflects how varied or same consequences can be drawn by the application of these techniques. In the analysis of neighbourhood effects, the most deterministic factors of the Hungarian regional inequalities are examined: the level of personal income and the unemployment rate. The examination points out where stable social and regional clusters were formed in Hungary, in the mirror of the different methodological approaches.
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