Does Zipf's Law Hold for Primate Cities? Some Evidence from a Discriminant Analysis of World Countries
AbstractAccording Zipf's Law, city sizes follow a Pareto distribution, with the rank (R) of a city i being proportional to its size (S): R(i)=A*S-Å’Â± or ln(R) = ln(A)-Å’Â±*ln(S), where Å’Â± is a slope gradient or Pareto parameter, varying around 1. However, several empirical studies, carried out to date, indicate that the sizes of the first largest cities in many countries (with ranks of 1 and 2) are not exactly given to Zipâ€šÃ„Ã´s Law, but with relatively large errors. In our study, we consider the ratio between the size of the first largest city and the size of the second largest city (B-ratio) for a very large ensemble of 177 countries across the world. A surprising result of this work is that only a small number of countries (about 35%) have their B-ratios within the limits expected under Zipfâ€šÃ„Ã´s Law (B=0.4âˆšâˆ‘0.6). As we also learn from the discriminant analysis of our country-wide data, high urbanization levels are likely to reduce the gap in population sizes between the first and the second city, while the first city being the national capital is likely to widen the gap between it and its â€šÃ„Ãºnearest neighborâ€šÃ„Ã¹ in the national city-size distribution.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p105.
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Web page: http://www.ersa.org
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.:
- Puga, Diego, 1997.
"The Rise and Fall of Regional Inequalities,"
CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
1575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Diego Puga, 1996. "The Rise and Fall of Regional Inequalities," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp0314, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Diego Puga, 1996. "The rise and fall of regional inequalities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 20643, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- 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.
- Boris A. Portnov & Daniel Felsenstein, 2005. "Measuring Regional Disparities in Small Countries," ERSA conference papers, European Regional Science Association ersa05p136, European Regional Science Association.
- Denise PUMAIN, 2012. "Une Théorie Géographique Pour La Loi De Zipf," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 36, pages 31-54.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.