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The pan-European population distribution across consistently defined functional urban areas

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  • Schmidheiny, Kurt
  • Suedekum, Jens

Abstract

We analyze the first data set on consistently defined functional urban areas in Europe and compare the European to the US urban system. City sizes in Europe do not follow a power law: the largest cities are “too small” to follow Zipf’s law.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmidheiny, Kurt & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "The pan-European population distribution across consistently defined functional urban areas," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 10-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:133:y:2015:i:c:p:10-13
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2015.05.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kristian Giesen & Jens Südekum, 2011. "Zipf's law for cities in the regions and the country," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 667-686, July.
    2. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
    3. Hernán D. Rozenfeld & Diego Rybski & Xavier Gabaix & Hernán A. Makse, 2011. "The Area and Population of Cities: New Insights from a Different Perspective on Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2205-2225, August.
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    5. 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.
    6. Giesen, Kristian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "City age and city size," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 193-208.
    7. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
    8. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Overman, Henry G., 2003. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adelheid Holl, 2019. "Natural Geography and Patterns of Local Population Growth and Decline in Spain: 1960–2011," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(18), pages 1-21, September.
    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. 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.
    4. Cura, Robin & Cottineau, Clémentine & Swerts, Elfie & Ignazzi, Cosmo Antonio & Bretagnolle, Anne & Vacchiani-Marcuzzo, Celine & Pumain, Denise, 2017. "The Old and the New: Qualifying City Systems in the World with Classical Models and New Data," SocArXiv pbzn6, Center for Open Science.
    5. Tomoya Mori & Jens Wrona, 2018. "Inter-city Trade," KIER Working Papers 995, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Moisés Obaco & Juan Pablo Díaz-Sánchez, 2018. "“An Overview of Urbanization in Ecuador under FUAs Definition”," AQR Working Papers 201807, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Jul 2018.
    7. Santiago Fernández-Rodríguez & Pablo Durán-Barroso & Inmaculada Silva-Palacios & Rafael Tormo-Molina & José María Maya-Manzano & Ángela Gonzalo-Garijo, 2016. "Forecast model of allergenic hazard using trends of Poaceae airborne pollen over an urban area in SW Iberian Peninsula (Europe)," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 84(1), pages 121-137, October.
    8. Moisés Obaco & Juan Pablo Díaz-Sánchez, 2018. "“Urbanization in Ecuador: An overview using the FUA definition”," IREA Working Papers 201814, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2018.
    9. Adelheid Holl, 2018. "Local employment growth patterns and the Great Recession: The case of Spain," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 837-863, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    City size distributions; Zipf’s law; Functional urban areas; Urban systems;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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