The structure of multi-regional trade flows: hierarchy, feedbacks and spatial linkages

Michael Sonis, Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Ricardo Gazel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification and interpretation of regional economic structure is addressed by reference to a four region, three sector interregional input-output table for the US for 1982. Using the transactions matrix, a succession of self-influence feedback loops are identified, first at the macro-regional level (where all transactions are aggregated into one sector) and, subsequently, with more sectoral detail. The feedback loops are extracted hierarchically using the Matrioshka Hierarchical Feedback Loop Principle. The empirical results reveal the domination of domestic (intra-regional flows) and the dominant role that region 4 (Rest of the US) plays in the bi-lateral trading patterns. However, when sectoral flows are introduced to the intra- and inter-regional flows, the pattern of feedback loops becomes more complex, although the overall pattern matches the structure of the aggregate transactions flows. The analysis provides insights into structure and spatial linkages that cannot be revealed from the more usual data sources (such as the distribution of employment by sector). With tables available for more than one time period, it would be possible to examine structural changes in a more complete fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-430
Number of pages22
JournalThe Annals of Regional Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The structure of multi-regional trade flows: hierarchy, feedbacks and spatial linkages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this