IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Hierarchy in social organization

Listed author(s):
  • Buldyrev, S.V
  • Dokholyan, N.V
  • Erramilli, S
  • Hong, M
  • Kim, J.Y
  • Malescio, G
  • Stanley, H.E
Registered author(s):

    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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only. Journal offers the option of making the article available online on Science direct for a fee of $3,000

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

    Volume (Year): 330 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 653-659

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:330:y:2003:i:3:p:653-659
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2003.09.041
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:330:y:2003:i:3:p:653-659. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.