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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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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Rafael González‐Val, 2019. "Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800)," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(2), pages 1115-1136, April.
    3. Rafael González-Val, 2019. "US city-size distribution and space," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 283-300, July.
    4. Arshad, Sidra & Hu, Shougeng & Ashraf, Badar Nadeem, 2019. "Zipf’s law, the coherence of the urban system and city size distribution: Evidence from Pakistan," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 513(C), pages 87-103.
    5. 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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