Hierarchy in social organization
We find that area and population distributions of nations follow an inverse power-law, as is known for cities, but with a different exponent. To interpret this result, we develop a growth model based on the geometrical properties of partitioning of the plane. The substantial agreement between the model and the actual nation distributions motivates the hypothesis that the distribution of aggregates of organisms is related to land partitioning. To test this hypothesis we follow the development of bacterial colonies of Escherichia coli, which, compared to humans, are on a completely different level of complexity. We find that the distributions of E. coli colonies follow an inverse power law with exponent similar to that of nations.
Volume (Year): 330 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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- 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
- Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.