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Zipf’s law for Chinese cities: Rolling sample regressions

  • Peng, Guohua
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    We study the validity of Zipf’s Law in a data set of Chinese city sizes for the years 1999–2004, when the numbers of cities remain almost constant after a rapid urbanization process during the period of the market-oriented economy and reform-open policy. Previous investigations are restricted to log–log rank–size regression for a fixed sample. In contrast, we use rolling sample regression methods in which the sample is changing with the truncation point. The intuition is that if the distribution is Pareto with a coefficient one (Zipf’s law holds), rolling sample regressions should yield a constant coefficient regardless of what the sample is. We find that the Pareto exponent is almost monotonically decreasing in the truncation point; the mean estimated coefficient is 0.84 for the full dataset, which is not so far from 1.

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

    Volume (Year): 389 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 18 ()
    Pages: 3804-3813

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:389:y:2010:i:18:p:3804-3813
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physica-a-statistical-mechpplications/

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    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.
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