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Pareto Or Log-Normal? Best Fit And Truncation In The Distribution Of All Cities

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  • Giorgio Fazio
  • Marco Modica

Abstract

type="main"> In the literature, the distribution of city size is a controversial issue with two common contenders: the Pareto and the log-normal. While the first is most accredited when the distribution is truncated above a certain threshold, the latter is usually considered a better representation for the untruncated distribution of all cities. In this paper, we reassess the empirical evidence on the best-fitting distribution in relation to the truncation point issue. Specifically, we provide a comparison among four recently proposed approaches and alternative definitions of U.S. cities. Our results highlight the importance to look at issue of the best-fitting distribution together with the truncation issue and provide guidance with respect to the existing tests of the truncation point.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Fazio & Marco Modica, 2015. "Pareto Or Log-Normal? Best Fit And Truncation In The Distribution Of All Cities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(5), pages 736-756, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:55:y:2015:i:5:p:736-756
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    3. González-Val, Rafael, 2020. "The Spanish spatial city size distribution," MPRA Paper 101195, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Marco Bee, 2020. "On discriminating between lognormal and Pareto tail: A mixture-based approach," DEM Working Papers 2020/9, Department of Economics and Management.
    5. Rafael González-Val, 2019. "US city-size distribution and space," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 283-300, July.
    6. Christian Schluter, 0. "On Zipf’s law and the bias of Zipf regressions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    7. Christian Duben & Melanie Krause, 2019. "Population, light, and the size distribution of cities," Working Papers 488, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Luckstead, Jeff & Devadoss, Stephen & Danforth, Diana, 2017. "The size distributions of all Indian cities," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 474(C), pages 237-249.
    9. Pankaj Bajracharya & Salima Sultana, 2020. "Rank-size Distribution of Cities and Municipalities in Bangladesh," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(11), pages 1-1, June.
    10. Safari, Muhammad Aslam Mohd & Masseran, Nurulkamal & Ibrahim, Kamarulzaman & Hussain, Saiful Izzuan, 2019. "A robust and efficient estimator for the tail index of inverse Pareto distribution," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 517(C), pages 431-439.

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