Cluster 4: Travel, Migration, Housing, and Labour Markets

Cluster 4 has a focus on topics related to travel, migration, housing and labour markets. Obviously these topics are crucial in the economy and more knowledge is needed about their complex interactions. Worldwide, there is more migration than ever before challenging adjustment processes in regional labour and housing markets. Daily or weekly commuting between home and work constitute a significant part of all travels made, hence transport investment projects have to deal with this type of mobility. Migration and commuting decisions in general may be related to flexibility in transportation, job accessibility and governmental regulations. Moreover preferences to change residence or to obtain certain amenities in specific residential locations interact with expectations about local labour and housing market situation. Consequently, place of work and place of living are generally considered to be endogenous variables. Further, earned income or income prospects are important for the affordability of appropriate housing in suitable places. It may have an impact on commuting distance, and influence decisions about whether to move, to postpone a relocation decision or to stay.

NECTAR Cluster 4 encompasses theoretical and empirical research that focuses on analysis that increase the understanding of these linked topics, methodologically as well as for policy implications.

Cluster 4 Co-chairs

oslandLiv Osland is Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). She has also worked at the BI Norwegian Business School and the Stord/Haugesund University College in Haugesund, Norway. She has been teaching courses like microeconomics, public economics, health economics, empirical market analysis and Risk Management and insurance. She is chairing the course of applied methods at the University College. Her main research interest is in regional economics comprising housing markets, and how this market interacts with the labour market and transportation. She has also published works dealing with applied spatial econometrics and the valuation of non-market goods. Here website can be found here:

John Östh is senior lecturer at Department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University. His primary research interest is oriented towards Spatial Analysis and GIS, software development and quantitative analysis in population and economic geography with special focus on demography and migration, school choice and labour market opportunities, and more recently also the geography of human interaction on the Internet and through mobile phone usage. See for his personal website.

Cecília Silva is Assistant Professor with habilitation at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP), and senior researcher at CITTA – the Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment. She is a Civil Engineer with specialization in Spatial Planning and Urban Mobility. Her main research fields include Accessibility Planning, Sustainable Mobility, Mobility Management, and Planning Support Instrument; research developed in close connection to local planning practice. She is mainly interested integrated land use and transport policies for human-scale cities. More information about her can be found here:

Olivier Bonin is a researcher in Geography at LVMT (IFSTTAR, ENPC and UPEM) in Marne-La-Vallée. He is an “Ingénieur des Ponts, des Eaux et des Forêts” and holds a PhD in Statistics. Mostly with theoretical and modelling approaches, he works on urban morphogenesis, energy and land planning and mobility behaviour. He is particularly interested in understanding and modelling individuals’ relation to space. He is deputy director of LVMT since 2013, and is also involved in Efficacity, a public-private research institute where he leads researches on socioeconomic appraisal of urban projects. See for an overview of his publications.

Cluster activities

  • Special Session at the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) congress in Jönköping, August 2010. Overall 18 papers were presented.
  • Special Session at the NECTAR XII International Conference at the Azores, May 2013. Overall 18 papers were presented.
  • Special Session at the 10th international world congress of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) in Thailand, May 2014. The congress was cancelled in the last minute due to a military coup.
  • NECTAR, Cluster 4 meeting Sigtuna Stocholm, 2014. Overall 13 papers were presented. The meeting was arranged by professor Kerstin Westin at the Umeå University
  • Cluster 4: Thematic Session “The Dynamics of Migration, Housing, and Labour Markets in Land Use
    and Travel Patterns”, 12th International NECTAR Conference, Ann Arbor, USA, 14-16 June 2015
  • NECTAR, Cluster 4 meeting in Toledo, Spain, 2016
  • Cluster 4 Thematic Session “Technology, mobility and migration”, 13th NECTAR international conference, May 31-June 2 2017, Madrid.
  • Cluster 4 Cluster Thematic session “Spatial interaction and regional developments”, 14th NECTAR international conference, June 5-7, 2019, University of Helsinki
  • Cluster 4 & 6 JCR Workshop on “Challenges for Transport and Accessibility Policy: New Data Sources and Mobility Options”, 1-2 October 2020, Seville
  • Cluster 4 Workshop on “Teleworking, commuting and the housing market in the post COVID19 era”, March 17-18 2022 in Marne-la-Vallée, France
  • Cluster 4 & 6 JCR Workshop on “Mobility and Accessibility after the Pandemic: Emerging Trends and Policy Challenges”,  5-7 October 2022, Seville, Spain
  • NECTAR Cluster 4 workshop on Active Micro-Mobility – Modeling Spatial Behaviour of Cyclists and Pedestrians, 16-17 March 2023, Lyon, France

See the publication page for publications organised by the cluster.