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Urban Growth: Trends Vs. Noise

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  • Duranton, Gilles

Abstract

This paper carries out a comparative analysis of the so-called classical urban growth models and ramdon urban growth models in order to explain their explanatory capabilities about urban growth and cities size distribution. The process of innovation through experimentation embedded in the classical urban growth models has shed new ligth to explain the coexistence of both diversified and specialized cities and role that diversified cities play as “nursery cities” by facilitating experimentation (Duranton and Puga, 2001). Classical urban growth models do not naturally generate the Zipf’s law (the rank-size rule for cities), whereas ramdon urban models provide a number of explanations for this key stylized fact. The theoretical foundations of both kind of models and their degree of compatibility are also examined. An exact statement of the conditions under which both type of models may be compatible is also needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Duranton, Gilles, 2010. "Urban Growth: Trends Vs. Noise," Revista Galega de Economía, University of Santiago de Compostela. Faculty of Economics and Business., vol. 19(ex).
  • Handle: RePEc:sdo:regaec:v:19:y:2010:i:ex_1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Urban Structure and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 597-624.
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    3. Berliant, Marcus & Wang, Ping, 2003. "Dynamic Urban Models: Agglomeration and Growth," Working Papers 1167, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    4. Federico Cingano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2004. "Identifying the Sources of Local Productivity Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 720-742, June.
    5. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    6. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Guy Michaels & Ferdinand Rauch & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Urbanization and Structural Transformation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 535-586.
    9. Findeisen, Sebastian & Südekum, Jens, 2008. "Industry churning and the evolution of cities: Evidence for Germany," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 326-339, September.
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