Zipf’s law for cities : an empirical examination
AbstractWe use data for metro areas in the United States, from the US Census for 1900 - 1990, to test the validity of Zipf's Law for cities. Previous investigations are restricted to regressions of log size against log rank. In contrast, we use a nonparametric procedure to calculate local Zipf exponents from the mean and variance of city growth rates. This also allows us to test for the validity of Gibrat's Law for city growth processes. Despite variation in growth rates as a function of city size, Gibrat's Law does hold. In addition the local Zipf exponents are broadly consistent with Zipf's Law. Deviations from Zipf's Law are easily explained by deviations from Gibrat's Law.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its series Open Access publications from London School of Economics and Political Science with number http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/583/.
Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Publication status: Published in Regional science and urban economics (2003-03) v.33, p.127-137
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- Overman, Henry G. & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2001.
"Cross-Sectional Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution,"
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- Yannis M. Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 1999. "Cross-Sectional Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9926, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Overman, Henry G. & Ioannides, Yannis Menelaos, 2001. "Cross-sectional evolution of the U.S. city size distribution," Open Access publications from London School of Economics and Political Science http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/, London School of Economics and Political Science.
- 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.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
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