Multifunctionality of Towns: Exploration of the Spatial Behaviour of Households

  • Eveline S. van Leeuwen
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


In this chapter, first of all the importance of small and medium-sized towns for rural households in relation to shopping, working and living in five European countries will be described. This analysis demonstrates the different functions towns can perform in different European contexts. With the help of a regression analysis we explore the determinants of local orientation in shopping behaviour. We then turn our attention to households in a selection of six Dutch towns and describe their spatial shopping behaviour. A multinomial logit model is used to explain the choice of households to shop in town, or in the direct hinterland, or further away. We relate rural spatial-economic conditions, such as the accessibility and supply of shops, to the local households’ socio-economic characteristics, such as place of work, age, and income. This helps us to understand which factors are important for the households’ choice to use the town, or the hinterland, or a place outside the region for their shopping.


Utility Function Multinomial Logit Model Grocery Shopping Floor Space Shopping Behaviour 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Spatial EconomicsVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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