Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Zipfs Law for Cities: A Cross Country Investigation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Kwok Tong Soo

Abstract

This 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 Info

If 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.
File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0641.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0641.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0641

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: Cities; Zipf¿s Law; Pareto distribution; Hill estimator;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Cordoba, Juan Carlos, 2010. "On the Distribution of City Sizes," Staff General Research Papers 32121, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
  5. Gilles Duranton, 2002. "City size distributions as a consequence of the growth process," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20065, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. 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.
  7. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L.J. Wright, 2005. "Urban Structure and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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, December.
  10. Alperovich, Gershon, 1988. "A new testing procedure of the rank size distribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 251-259, March.
  11. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  15. Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
  16. 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.
  17. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  18. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0641. See general 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.