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The size distribution of websites

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  • Schmeiser, Steven

Abstract

The upper tail of the size distribution of websites follows a power law with slope close to one (Zipf’s law). This finding is robust to measuring website size by unique visitors and page views, and holds for the United States, Germany, and the world. Web traffic in China has less support for a power law.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmeiser, Steven, 2015. "The size distribution of websites," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 62-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:128:y:2015:i:c:p:62-68 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2015.01.019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
    2. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144.
    3. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
    4. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2011. "Rank - 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39, January.
    5. Thomas J. Holmes & Sanghoon Lee, 2010. "Cities as Six-by-Six-Mile Squares: Zipf's Law?," NBER Chapters,in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 105-131 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, May.
    7. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Establishment Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1639-1666, December.
    8. Gabaix, Xavier & Ibragimov, Rustam, 2011. "Rank − 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39.
    9. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internet; Size distribution; Power law; Zipf’s law;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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