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Regards Scientifiques Croisés Sur La Hiérarchie Des Systèmes De Peuplement : De L’Empirie Aux Systèmes Complexes

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  • Lena SANDERS

    () (UMR Géographie-cités)

Abstract

The hierarchical organization of human settlements is a key-subject for various studies from different scientific areas in regional science such as economics, geography, sociology or even archeology. The aim of this paper is to consider contributions from different scientific fields in order to build a theoretical framework for understanding the Zipf law for cities. Firstly, it shows that historical factors should be included when analyzing the evolution of urban systems, which should be seen as complex systems. This goes along when examining the validity or not of a distributional form for cities’ sizes such as the Pareto or the lognormal. Secondly, the paper simulates urban growth patterns that lead, under certain conditions, on city-size distribution that obeys the Zipf’s law for cities. This contribution focuses on urban hierarchies and settlements distributions on different scales, time-periods and environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Lena SANDERS, 2012. "Regards Scientifiques Croisés Sur La Hiérarchie Des Systèmes De Peuplement : De L’Empirie Aux Systèmes Complexes," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 36, pages 127-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:36:y:2012:p:127-146
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    File URL: http://region-developpement.univ-tln.fr/fr/pdf/R36/7_Sanders.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Michel DIMOU & Alexandra SCHAFFAR, 2007. "Évolution Des Hiérarchies Urbaines Et Loi De Zipf : Le Cas Des Balkans," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 25, pages 65-86.
    4. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    5. Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
    6. L Sanders & D Pumain & H Mathian & F Guérin-Pace & S Bura, 1997. "SIMPOP: a multiagent system for the study of urbanism," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(2), pages 287-305, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    HUMAN SETTLEMENTS; ZIPF’S LAW; COMPLEX SYSTEMS; SPATIAL INTERACTION; ARCHEOLOGY;

    JEL classification:

    • B29 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Other
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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