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Sequential city growth in the US: does age matter?

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Author Info

  • María Sánchez-Vidal

    ()
    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Rafael González-Val

    ()
    (Universidad de Zaragoza & IEB)

  • Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal

    ()
    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

Abstract

We provide empirical evidence of the dynamics of city size distribution for the whole of the twentieth century in U.S. cities and metropolitan areas. We focus our analysis on the new cities that were created during the period of analysis. The main contribution of this paper, therefore, is the parametric and nonparametric analysis of the population growth experienced by these new-born cities. Our results enable us to confirm that, when cities appear, they grow very rapidly and, as the decades pass, their growth slows or even falls into decline. This is consistent with the theoretical framework regarding mean reversion (convergence) in the steady state and with the theories of sequential city growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2013/1.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2013-1

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Keywords: Cities; sequential city growth; city size distribution;

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  1. Kim, Sukkoo & Margo, Robert A., 2004. "Historical perspectives on U.S. economic geography," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 66, pages 2981-3019 Elsevier.
  2. William J. Reed, 2002. "On the Rank-Size Distribution for Human Settlements," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 1-17.
  3. Südekum, Jens & Giesen, Kristian, 2013. "City Age and City Size," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79996, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  5. Guy Michaels & Ferdinand Rauch & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Urbanisation and Structural Transformation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0892, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Cuberes, David, 2008. "A Model of Sequential City Growth," MPRA Paper 8431, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Overman, Henry G., 2003. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, March.
  8. Kris James Mitchener & Ian W. McLean, 2003. "The Productivity of U.S. States Since 1880," NBER Working Papers 9445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  11. Maarten Bosker & Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Marc Schramm, 2006. "A Century of Shocks: The Evolution of the German City Size Distribution 1925 – 1999," CESifo Working Paper Series 1728, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Cuberes, David, 2011. "Sequential city growth: Empirical evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 229-239, March.
  13. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2011. "Portage and path dependence," Working Papers 11-38, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Vernon Henderson & Anthony Venables, 2009. "Dynamics of city formation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(2), pages 233-254, April.
  15. Kristian Giesen & Jens Südekum, 2011. "Zipf's law for cities in the regions and the country," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 667-686, July.
  16. Rappaport, Jordan, 2007. "Moving to nice weather," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 375-398, May.
  17. Gilles Duranton, 2007. "Urban Evolutions: The Fast, the Slow, and the Still," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 197-221, March.
  18. Edward L Glaeser & Jesse M Shapiro, 2003. "Urban Growth in the 1990s: Is City Living Back?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 139-165.
  19. Jordan Rappaport & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "The U.S. as a coastal nation," Research Working Paper RWP 01-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  20. Giesen, Kristian & Zimmermann, Arndt & Suedekum, Jens, 2010. "The size distribution across all cities - Double Pareto lognormal strikes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 129-137, September.
  21. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  22. Henderson, J. Vernon & Wang, Hyoung Gun, 2007. "Urbanization and city growth: The role of institutions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 283-313, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Kristian Giesen & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "The Size Distribution Across All "Cities": A Unifying Approach," SERC Discussion Papers 0122, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. Südekum, Jens & Giesen, Kristian, 2013. "City Age and City Size," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79996, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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