The city as a giant component: a random graph approach to Zipf's law
The emergence of a 'city' out of a set of locations in space can be considered akin to the evolution of a random graph. Interaction between individuals who are connected to each other is at the source of the benefits associated with a city. If the interaction probability rises, a threshold is eventually crossed at which point most of the graph becomes connected, giving rise to a grand component. It is at this point that a viable 'city' emerges. This view suggests an interpretation of Zipf's law, which we test using US Census data.
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Volume (Year): 10 (2003)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
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- E. Roy Weintraub, 1992. "Introduction," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 24(5), pages 3-12, Supplemen.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
- Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
- Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Are Cities Dying?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 139-160, Spring.
- 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.
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