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The French Overall City Size Distribution

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  • Kristian GIESEN

    ()
    (Mercator School of Management, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)

  • Jens SÜDEKUM

    ()
    (Mercator School of Management, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)

Abstract

We analyze the overall size distribution across all French settlements in the year 2008. The sizes of the largest French cities follow the famous Zipf's law fairly closely, with Paris being a notable outlier. However, for the overall city size distribution (CSD), Zipf's law is not a useful approximation. We show that the lognormal (LN) distribution does a reasonable job in fitting the overall French CSD. Yet, it is clearly outperformed by a different parameterization, the double Pareto lognormal (DPLN) distribution. This is consistent with our previous findings for city sizes in the US and other countries. We discuss the implications of these results for urban growth theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var in its journal Région et Développement.

Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 107-126

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Handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:36:y:2012:p:107-126

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Related research

Keywords: ZIPF'S LAW; GIBRAT'S LAW; CITY SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS; DOUBLE PARETO LOGNORMAL;

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References

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  1. Kwok Tong Soo, 2004. "Zipfs Law for Cities: A Cross Country Investigation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0641, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Rosen, Kenneth T. & Resnick, Mitchel, 1980. "The size distribution of cities: An examination of the Pareto law and primacy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 165-186, September.
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  7. Hern�n D. Rozenfeld & Diego Rybski & Xavier Gabaix & Hern�n A. Makse, 2011. "The Area and Population of Cities: New Insights from a Different Perspective on Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2205-25, August.
  8. Cheshire, Paul, 1999. "Trends in sizes and structures of urban areas," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 1339-1373 Elsevier.
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  14. Yannis M. Ioannides & Spyros Skouras, 2009. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities: A Rejoinder," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0740, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  15. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2007. "Rank-1/2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Gan, Li & Li, Dong & Song, Shunfeng, 2006. "Is the Zipf law spurious in explaining city-size distributions?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 256-262, August.
  18. Rafael González‐Val, 2010. "The Evolution Of U.S. City Size Distribution From A Long‐Term Perspective (1900–2000)," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(5), pages 952-972, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Puente-Ajovin, Miguel & Ramos, Arturo, 2014. "On the parametric description of the French, German, Italian and Spanish city size distributions," MPRA Paper 55285, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando & González-Val, Rafael, 2013. "A new framework for the US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," MPRA Paper 52190, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. González-Val, Rafael & Ramos, Arturo & Sanz, Fernando & Vera-Cabello, María, 2013. "Size Distributions for All Cities: Which One is Best?," MPRA Paper 44314, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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