Discussion Papers 2023


"Satellite-Based Vehicle Flow Data to Assess Local Economic Activitie"

Author Name

Go, Eugenia, Kentaro Nakajima, Yasuyuki Sawada and Kiyoshi Taniguchi


January 2023

Full Paper PDF file


Spatially and seasonally granular measures of local economic activities are increasingly required in a variety of economic analyses. We propose using novel vehicle density data obtained from daytime satellite images to quantify the local economic activity involving human and goods traffic flows. Val-
idation exercises show that vehicle density is a good proxy for local economic levels. We then apply our data to evaluate the impact of a new international airport terminal opening in the Philippines on local economies. The results show that the opening of the new terminal has spatially and seasonally heterogeneous impacts that conventional data cannot canot capture.

Keywords: Satellite imagery data; Measure local economic activities; Transportation infrastructure; Impact evaluation; Tourism