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The size distribution across all cities - Double Pareto lognormal strikes

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  • Giesen, Kristian
  • Zimmermann, Arndt
  • Suedekum, Jens

Abstract

Using un-truncated settlement size data from eight countries, we show that the "double Pareto lognormal" (DPLN) distribution provides a better fit to actual city sizes than the simple lognormal (LN) distribution. The DPLN has a lognormal body and features a power law in both the lower and the upper tail. It emerges in the steady-state of a stochastic urban growth process with random city formation. Our findings reconcile a recent debate on the Zipfian rank-size rule for city sizes.

Suggested Citation

  • Giesen, Kristian & Zimmermann, Arndt & Suedekum, Jens, 2010. "The size distribution across all cities - Double Pareto lognormal strikes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 129-137, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:68:y:2010:i:2:p:129-137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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