Zipfs Law for Cities: An Empirical Examination
AbstractWe use data for metro areas in the United States, from the US Census for 1900 û 1990, to test the validity of Zipf's Law for cities. Previous investigations are restricted to regressions of log size against log rank. In contrast, we use a nonparametric procedure to calculate local Zipf exponents from the mean and variance of city growth rates. This also allows us to test for the validity of Gibrat's Law for city growth processes. Despite variation in growth rates as a function of city size, Gibrat's Law does hold. In addition the local Zipf exponents are broadly consistent with Zipf's Law. Deviations from Zipf's Law are easily explained by deviations from Gibrat's Law.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0484.
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP
Urban growth; Zipfs Law; Gibrats Law; estimation of Brownian motion;
Other versions of this item:
- Henry G. Overman & Yannis Ioannides, 2000. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20136, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Yannis Menelaos Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 2003. "Zipf’s law for cities : an empirical examination," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 583, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harris Dobkins, Linda & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2001.
"Spatial interactions among U.S. cities: 1900-1990,"
Regional Science and Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 701-731, November.
- Linda Harris Dobkins & Yannis M. Ioannides, 1999. "Spatial Interactions Among U.S. Cities: 1900-1990," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9913, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Henry G. Overman & Yannis Menelaos Ioannides, 2001.
"Cross-sectional evolution of the U.S. city size distribution,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
584, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Overman, Henry G. & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2001. "Cross-Sectional Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 543-566, May.
- Y Ioannides & Henry Overman, 2000. "Cross Sectional Evolution of the US City Size Distribution," CEP Discussion Papers dp0483, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Yannis M. Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 1999. "Cross-Sectional Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9926, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Henry G. Overman & Yannis Ioannides, 2000. "Cross sectional evolution of the US city size distribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20137, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
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