Zipfs Law for Cities: A Cross Country Investigation
AbstractThis paper assesses the empirical validity of Zipf¿s Law for cities, using new data on 73countries and two estimation methods ¿ OLS and the Hill estimator. With either estimator,we reject Zipf¿s Law far more often than we would expect based on random chance; for 53out of 73 countries using OLS, and for 30 out of 73 countries using the Hill estimator. TheOLS estimates of the Pareto exponent are roughly normally distributed, but those of the Hillestimator are bimodal. Variations in the value of the Pareto exponent are better explained bypolitical economy variables than by economic geography variables.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0641.
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP
Cities; Zipf¿s Law; Pareto distribution; Hill estimator;
Other versions of this item:
- Soo, Kwok Tong, 2005. "Zipf's Law for cities: a cross-country investigation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 239-263, May.
- C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-01-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-GEO-2005-01-02 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-URE-2005-01-02 (Urban & Real Estate 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.:
- Córdoba, Juan-Carlos, 2008.
"On the distribution of city sizes,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 177-197, January.
- Gilles Duranton, 2002.
"City Size Distributions As A Consequence of the Growth Process,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0550, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Duranton, Gilles, 2002. "City Size Distributions as a Consequence of the Growth Process," CEPR Discussion Papers 3577, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Boozer, Michael A., 1997. "Econometric Analysis of Panel Data Badi H. Baltagi Wiley, 1995," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 747-754, October.
- Alperovich, Gershon, 1988. "A new testing procedure of the rank size distribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 251-259, March.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007.
"Urban Structure and Growth,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 597-624.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L.J. Wright, 2005. "Urban Structure and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006. "Urban structure and growth," Staff Report 381, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Mark Wright & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Urban Structure and Growth," 2004 Meeting Papers 33, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2003. "Urban structure and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 141, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
- Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993.
"Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- 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.
- Linda Harris Dobkins & Yannis M. Ioannides, 1999. "Dynamic Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9916, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
- Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, January.
- Alperovich, Gershon, 1984. "The size distribution of cities: On the empirical validity of the rank-size rule," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 232-239, September.
- 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.
- Robert Axtell and Richard Florida, 2001. "Emergent Cities: A Microeconomic Explanation for Zipf's Law," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 154, Society for Computational Economics.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
- Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.