The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

GIS Data in Economics

  • Henry G. Overman
Reference work entry


Geographical information systems (GIS) are used for inputting, storing, managing, analysing and mapping spatial data. This article considers the role each of these functions can play in economics. GIS can map economic data with a spatial component, generate additional spatial data as inputs to statistical analysis, calculate distances between features of interest and define neighbourhoods around objects. GIS also introduce economics to new data. For example, remote sensing provides large amounts of data on the earth’s surface. These data are of inherent interest, but can also provide an exogenous source of variation and allow the construction of innovative instrumental variables.


Geographical information systems (GIS) and economics Spatial data Hedonic analysis 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry G. Overman
    • 1
  1. 1.