Zipf's law for cities: a cross country investigation
AbstractThis paper assesses the empirical validity of Zipf¿s Law for cities, using new data on 73 countries 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 53 out of 73 countries using OLS, and for 30 out of 73 countries using the Hill estimator. The OLS estimates of the Pareto exponent are roughly normally distributed, but those of the Hill estimator are bimodal. Variations in the value of the Pareto exponent are better explained by political economy variables than by economic geography variables.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19947.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Cities; Zipfs 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.
- Kwok Tong Soo, 2004. "Zipfs Law for Cities: A Cross Country Investigation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0641, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
- C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
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