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Zipf’s law for Chinese cities: Rolling sample regressions

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  • Peng, Guohua
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    Abstract

    We study the validity of Zipf’s Law in a data set of Chinese city sizes for the years 1999–2004, when the numbers of cities remain almost constant after a rapid urbanization process during the period of the market-oriented economy and reform-open policy. Previous investigations are restricted to log–log rank–size regression for a fixed sample. In contrast, we use rolling sample regression methods in which the sample is changing with the truncation point. The intuition is that if the distribution is Pareto with a coefficient one (Zipf’s law holds), rolling sample regressions should yield a constant coefficient regardless of what the sample is. We find that the Pareto exponent is almost monotonically decreasing in the truncation point; the mean estimated coefficient is 0.84 for the full dataset, which is not so far from 1.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

    Volume (Year): 389 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 18 ()
    Pages: 3804-3813

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:389:y:2010:i:18:p:3804-3813

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    Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physica-a-statistical-mechpplications/

    Related research

    Keywords: Chinese city size; Zipf’s law; Pareto distribution; Urban economic development; Rolling sample regressions;

    References

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    1. Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
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    Cited by:
    1. Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2012. "An appraisal of firm size distribution: Does sample size matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 314-328.
    2. Chen, Yanguang, 2012. "The rank-size scaling law and entropy-maximizing principle," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(3), pages 767-778.
    3. Chen, Yanguang & Wang, Jiejing, 2014. "Recursive subdivision of urban space and Zipf’s law," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 395(C), pages 392-404.

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