Zipf's Law for cities: a cross-country investigation
This paper assesses the empirical validity of Zipf¿s Law for cities, using new data on 73 countries and two estimation methods ¿ OLS and the Hill estimator. With either estimator, we reject Zipf¿s Law far more often than we would expect based on random chance; for 53 out of 73 countries using OLS, and for 30 out of 73 countries using the Hill estimator. The OLS estimates of the Pareto exponent are roughly normally distributed, but those of the Hill estimator are bimodal. Variations in the value of the Pareto exponent are better explained by political economy variables than by economic geography variables.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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.
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.
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.:
- Robert Axtell and Richard Florida, 2001. "Emergent Cities: A Microeconomic Explanation for Zipf's Law," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 154, Society for Computational Economics.
- Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
- 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.
- Duranton, Gilles, 2002.
"City Size Distributions as a Consequence of the Growth Process,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3577, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gilles Duranton, 2002. "City Size Distributions As A Consequence of the Growth Process," CEP Discussion Papers dp0550, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Gilles Duranton, 2002. "City size distributions as a consequence of the growth process," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20065, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- France Guerin-Pace, 1995. "Rank-Size Distribution and the Process of Urban Growth," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 32(3), pages 551-562, April.
- Cheshire, Paul, 1999. "Trends in sizes and structures of urban areas," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 1339-1373 Elsevier.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L.J. Wright, 2005.
"Urban Structure and Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
11262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006. "Urban structure and growth," Staff Report 381, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2003. "Urban structure and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 141, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Mark Wright & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Urban Structure and Growth," 2004 Meeting Papers 33, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Alperovich, Gershon, 1984. "The size distribution of cities: On the empirical validity of the rank-size rule," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 232-239, September.
- Linda Harris Dobkins & Yannis M. Ioannides, 1999. "Dynamic Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9916, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Gershon Alperovich, 1993. "An Explanatory Model of City-size Distribution: Evidence from Cross-country Data," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 30(9), pages 1591-1601, November.
- Córdoba, Juan-Carlos, 2008.
"On the distribution of city sizes,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 177-197, January.
- Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, March.
- Alperovich, Gershon, 1988. "A new testing procedure of the rank size distribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 251-259, March.
- Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
- Boozer, Michael A., 1997. "Econometric Analysis of Panel Data Badi H. Baltagi Wiley, 1995," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 747-754, October.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
- Rosen, Kenneth T. & Resnick, Mitchel, 1980. "The size distribution of cities: An examination of the Pareto law and primacy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 165-186, September.
- Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227.
- Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 22(2), pages 179-232, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:35:y:2005:i:3:p:239-263. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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.