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Balanced City Growth and Zipf's Law

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  • Cordoba, Juan

    (U of Rochester)

Abstract

The evidence on city size distribution is remarkable. In many countries it obeys a Pareto distribution. Although several explanations have been proposed for the regularity, none of them is completely convincing, and the exact economic mechanism at work remains largely a puzzle. Current explanations seem to be inconsistent with scale economies, a central element in leading theories of cities.

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File URL: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~econ/papers/2002papers/03Cordoba.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rice University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2002-03.

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Date of creation: Jul 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:riceco:2002-03

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  1. Becker, G.S. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center, Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-5, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  2. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "Structural stability and evolution of urban systems," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 399-442, August.
  4. Y Ioannides & Henry Overman, 2000. "Zipfs Law for Cities: An Empirical Examination," CEP Discussion Papers dp0484, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
  6. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
  10. Tibor Scitovsky, 1954. "Two Concepts of External Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 143.
  11. Stanley, Michael H. R. & Buldyrev, Sergey V. & Havlin, Shlomo & Mantegna, Rosario N. & Salinger, Michael A. & Eugene Stanley, H., 1995. "Zipf plots and the size distribution of firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 453-457, October.
  12. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  13. Boyan Jovanovic, 1995. "Learning and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321.
  15. Segal, David, 1976. "Are There Returns to Scale in City Size?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(3), pages 339-50, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Matteo Richiardi, 2004. "Generalizing Gibrat: Reasonable Multiplicative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 7(1), pages 2.
  2. Matteo Richiardi, 2003. "Generalizing Gibrat Reasonable Stochastic Multiplicative Models of Firm Dynamics with Entry and Exit," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 21, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.

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