The main focus of Patricia’s research is the spatial disparities in socio-economic performance. Work on socio-economic disparities has included the analysis of the effect of urban agglomeration economies and transport investment on regional development, the importance of proximity to urban areas to rural development, rural-urban interactions and city-region economies. Her research has also focused on the factors determining travel demand and sustainable transport, and commuting patterns.

Patricia has published research in top journals including Regional Science and Urban Economics, the Journal of Economic Geography, the Journal of Regional Science, Urban Studies, and Regional Studies. She has also written short general-readership pieces about her work; some examples are provided below:

Ongoing and recent research projects

  • Spatial disparities in socio-economic performance.
  • Agglomeration economies and economic productivity.
  • Transport investment and economic performance.
  • Rural-urban interdependencies.
  • Travel demand and travel mode choice.
  • Econometric analysis of panel data.



  • Colley, K.; Currie, M.; Hopkins, J.; Melo, P. (2016) Access to outdoor recreation by older people in Scotland, Report for Rural Communities Research, Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) Division, The
    Scottish Government. Social Research Series, 85pp
  • Melo, P.C.; Abdul-Salam, Y.; Roberts, D.; Gilbert, A.; Matthews, R.B.; Cohen, L.; Sebastien, M.; Gomez Y Paloma, S. (2015) Income elasticities of food demand in Africa: a meta-analysis., JRC Technical Report, EUR 27650 EN, Publications Office of the European Union.

Conference papers

  • Melo, P.C.; Abdul-Salam, Y.; Roberts, D.; Cohen, L.; Sebastien, M.; Gomez Y Paloma, S. (2016) Income growth and malnutrition in Africa: is there a need for region-specific policies?, 90th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Society, University of Warwick, 4-6 April 2016.
  • Gavves, E.; Melo, P.; Graham, D.J. (2013) Fuel demand and road transport CO2 emissions: evidence for the greater Porto region., World Conference of Transport 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 15-18 July 2013.