Further Analysis of the Zipf Law: Does the Rank-Size Rule Really Exist?
AbstractThe widely-used Zipf law has two striking regularities: excellent fit and close-to-one exponent. When the exponent equals to one, the Zipf law collapses into the rank-size rule. This paper further analyzes the Zipf exponent. By changing the sample size, the truncation point, and the mix of cities in the sample, we found that the exponent is close to one only for some selected sub-samples. Using the values of estimated exponent from the rolling sample method, we obtained an elasticity of the exponent with respect to sample size.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-005.
Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Zipf law; Rank-size rule; Rolling sample method;
Other versions of this item:
- Fungisai Nota & Shunfeng Song, 2007. "Further Analysis of the Zipf's Law: Does the Rank-Size Rule Really Exist?," Working Papers 07-006, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
- C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
- R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-GEO-2008-09-20 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-URE-2008-09-20 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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.:
- Gan, Li & Li, Dong & Song, Shunfeng, 2006. "Is the Zipf law spurious in explaining city-size distributions?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 256-262, August.
- Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003.
"The Evolution of City Size Distributions,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
- Nitsch, Volker, 2005.
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 86-100, January.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
- Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2007. "Rank-1/2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- P. Nijkamp & A. Reggiani, 2012. "Did Zipf Anticipate Socio-Economic Spatial Networks?," Working Papers wp816, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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