Zipf's Law for Cities in the Regions and the Country
AbstractThe salient rank-size rule known as Zipf's law is not only satisfied for Germany's national urban hierarchy, but also for the city size distributions in single German regions. To analyze this phenomenon, we build on the insights by Gabaix (1999) that Zipf's law follows from a stochastic growth process. In particular, Gabaix shows that if the regions follow Gibrat's law, we should observe Zipf at both the regional and the national level. This theory has never been addressed empirically. Using non-parametric techniques we find that Gibrat's law holds in each German region, irrespective of how "regions" are defined. In other words, Gibrat's law and therefore Zipf's law tend to hold everywhere in space.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3928.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Geography, 2011, 11 (4), 667-686
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Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
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