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The characteristics and evolution of the Brazilian spatial urban system: empirical evidences for the long-run, 1970-2010

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  • Sueli Moro

    (Cedeplar-UFMG)

  • Reginaldo J. Santos

    (Cedeplar-UFMG)

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    Abstract

    In this paper we use spatial analysis and spatial econometrics methods to assess some empirical issues on the size distribution of the Brazilian Urban System. The main novelty is the long historical period of analysis which includes all the demographic censuses from 1940. More specifically, we describe the spatial distribution of the Brazilian cities, as well as its temporal evolution; we test test Zipf’s Law in its original and spatial version, and we use Markov Chains analysis in order to shed some light on the dynamics of the cities within the urban system. We introduce spatial dependence in both Zipf’s law estimation and Markov chain framework in order to capture the influence of the geographical environment on the relative position and mobility of the cities within the urban system. Our estimates for the Pareto coefficient were quite different for OLS and spatial models suggesting the inconsistency of OLS estimates in the non-spatial models. For the full sample of municipalities the Pareto coefficient is much smaller than 1, which features a polarized urban structure. Municipalities with urban population above the average show a less concentrated urban structure and seem to confirm Zipf law. Traditional Markov chain analysis indicates a high stability and low mobility inter-class over time confirming that, with rare exceptions, radical changes in urban population size are uncommon. Results for the Spatial Markov matrix show that municipalities with more populous neighbors are more likely to grow.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in its series Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG with number 474.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cdp:texdis:td474

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    Related research

    Keywords: Brazilian Urban System; Zipf's Law; Markov Chains; Spatial Econometrics.;

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    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, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    2. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
    3. Yoshihiko Nishiyama & Susumu Osada & Yasuhiro Sato, 2008. "OLS ESTIMATION AND THE "t" TEST REVISITED IN RANK-SIZE RULE REGRESSION," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 691-716.
    4. Luis Lanaspa & Fernando Pueyo & Fernando Sanz, 2002. "Evolution of the Spanish Urban Structure During the Twentieth Century," Documentos de Trabajo, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza dt2002-01, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
    5. Gianfranco Piras, . "sphet: Spatial Models with Heteroskedastic Innovations in R," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 35(i01).
    6. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
    7. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2005. "Zipf's Law for cities: a cross-country investigation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 239-263, May.
    8. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from france and Japan," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development 36, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    9. Anderson, Gordon & Ge, Ying, 2005. "The size distribution of Chinese cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 756-776, November.
    10. Fingleton, Bernard, 1997. "Specification and Testing of Markov Chain Models: An Application to Convergence in the European Union," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(3), pages 385-403, August.
    11. Irani Arraiz & David M. Drukker & Harry H. Kelejian & Ingmar R. Prucha, 2010. "A Spatial Cliff-Ord-Type Model With Heteroskedastic Innovations: Small And Large Sample Results," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 592-614.
    12. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
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