On the Distribution of City Sizes
AbstractThe city size distribution in many countries is remarkably well described by a Pareto distribution. We derive conditions that standard urban models must satisfy in order to explain this regularity. We show that under general conditions urban models must have (i) a balanced growth path and (ii) a Pareto distribution for the underlying source of randomness. In particular, one of the following combinations can induce a Pareto distribution of city sizes: (i) preferences for different goods follow reflected random walks, and the elasticity of substitution between goods is 1; or (ii) total factor productivities of different goods follow reflected random walks, and increasing returns are equal across goods.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 32121.
Date of creation: 16 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Urban Economics, January 2008, vol. 63 no. 1, pp. 177-197
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
- O41 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
- J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
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.:
- 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, June.
- Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
- Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994.
"Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from France and Japan,"
NBER Working Papers
4612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
- Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from france and Japan," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 36, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
- King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
- Henderson, J V, 1974.
"The Sizes and Types of Cities,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
- Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "Structural stability and evolution of urban systems," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 399-442, August.
- Ioannides, Yannis Menelaos & Overman, Henry G., 2003.
"Zipf’s law for cities : an empirical examination,"
Open Access publications from London School of Economics and Political Science
http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/, London School of Economics and Political Science.
- 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.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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, vol. 49(4), pages 453-457, October.
- Ioannides, Yannis M., 1994. "Product differentiation and economic growth in a system of cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 461-484, August.
- 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.
- Romer, Paul M, 1986.
"Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
- 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.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: (Stephanie Bridges) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Stephanie Bridges to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.