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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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References

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  1. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  2. Cuberes David, 2009. "A Model of Sequential City Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, May.
  3. Sukkoo Kim & Robert A. Margo, 2003. "Historical Perspectives on U.S. Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 9594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. David Cuberes, 2010. "Sequential city growth: empirical evidence," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  8. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2008. "A century of shocks: The evolution of the German city size distribution 1925-1999," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 330-347, July.
  9. Rappaport, Jordan, 2007. "Moving to nice weather," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 375-398, May.
  10. Michaels, Guy & Rauch, Ferdinand & Redding, Stephen J, 2008. "Urbanization and Structural Transformation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. Giesen, Kristian & Suedekum, Jens, 2009. "Zipf's Law for Cities in the Regions and the Country," IZA Discussion Papers 3928, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Mitchener, Kris James & McLean, Ian W, 2003. " The Productivity of US States since 1880," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 73-114, March.
  14. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  15. William J. Reed, 2002. "On the Rank-Size Distribution for Human Settlements," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 1-17.
  16. 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.
  17. Giesen, Kristian & Suedekum, Jens, 2013. "City age and city size," DICE Discussion Papers 120, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  18. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  19. 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.
  20. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2012. "Portage and Path Dependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 587-644.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Giesen, Kristian & Suedekum, Jens, 2013. "City age and city size," DICE Discussion Papers 120, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  2. Giesen, Kristian & Suedekum, Jens, 2012. "The Size Distribution Across All "Cities": A Unifying Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 6352, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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