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Size Distributions for All Cities: Which One is Best?

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  • González-Val, Rafael
  • Ramos, Arturo
  • Sanz, Fernando
  • Vera-Cabello, María

Abstract

This paper analyses in detail the features offered by three distributions used in urban economics to describe city size distributions: lognormal, q-exponential and double Pareto lognormal, and another one of use in other areas of economics: the log-logistic. We use a large database which covers all cities with no size restriction in the US, Spain and Italy from 1900 until 2010, and, in addition, the last available year for the rest of the countries of the OECD. We estimate the previous four density functions by maximum likelihood. To check the goodness of the fit in all periods and for the thirty-four countries we use the Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Cramér-von Mises tests, and compute the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). The results show that the distribution which best fits the data in most of the cases (86.76%) is the double Pareto lognormal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44314.

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Date of creation: 09 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44314

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Keywords: city size distribution; double Pareto lognormal; log-logistic; q-exponential; lognormal;

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References

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  1. Guy Michaels & Ferdinand Rauch & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Urbanization and Structural Transformation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 535-586.
  2. Kwok Tong Soo, 2004. "Zipfs Law for Cities: A Cross Country Investigation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0641, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  7. Hsing, Yu, 1990. "A note on functional forms and the urban size distribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-79, January.
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  9. Hernán D. Rozenfeld & Diego Rybski & Xavier Gabaix & Hernán A. Makse, 2009. "The Area and Population of Cities: New Insights from a Different Perspective on Cities," NBER Working Papers 15409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 1990. "One-stage structural models to explain city size," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 294-307, May.
  13. 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.
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  15. 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).
  16. Rafael González-Val & Luis Lanaspa & Fernando Sanz, 2012. "New evidence on Gibrat’s law for cities," Working Papers 2012/18, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  17. Ioannides, Yannis & Skouras, Spyros, 2013. "US city size distribution: Robustly Pareto, but only in the tail," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 18-29.
  18. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
  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. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  21. Rafael González‐Val, 2010. "The Evolution Of U.S. City Size Distribution From A Long‐Term Perspective (1900–2000)," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(5), pages 952-972, December.
  22. Kamecke, Ulrich, 1990. "Testing the rank size rule hypothesis with an efficient estimator," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 222-231, March.
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Citations

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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. Kristian Giesen & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "The Size Distribution Across All "Cities": A Unifying Approach," SERC Discussion Papers 0122, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Rafael González-Val & Arturo Ramos & Fernando Sanz-Gracia, 2013. "The accuracy of graphs to describe size distributions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(17), pages 1580-1585, November.
  4. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando & González-Val, Rafael, 2013. "A new framework for the US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," MPRA Paper 52190, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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