IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp0550.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

City Size Distributions As A Consequence of the Growth Process

Author

Listed:
  • Gilles Duranton

Abstract

The size distribution of cities in many countries follows some broadly regular patterns. Any good theory of city size distributions should (i) be able to account for this regularity, but also (ii) rely on a plausible economic mechanism and (iii) be consistent with other fundamental features of cities like the existence of agglomeration economies and crowding costs. Unlike the previous literature, the model proposed here satisfies these three requirements. It views small innovation-driven techno logical shocks as the main engine behind the growth and decline of cities. Cities grow or decline as they win or lose industries following new innovations. Formally, this is achieved by embedding the quality-ladder model of growth developed by Grossman and Helpman in an urban framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilles Duranton, 2002. "City Size Distributions As A Consequence of the Growth Process," CEP Discussion Papers dp0550, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0550
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/DP0550.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life Cycle of Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1454-1477, December.
    2. Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Smog Reduction's Impact on California County Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 565-582.
    3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    4. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-656, September.
    5. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
    6. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    7. Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
    8. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    9. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    10. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Overman, Henry G., 2003. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, March.
    11. Carlino, Gerald A. & DeFina, Robert H. & Sill, Keith, 2001. "Sectoral Shocks and Metropolitan Employment Growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 396-417, November.
    12. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Diversity and Specialisation in Cities: Why, Where and When Does it Matter?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 37(3), pages 533-555, March.
    13. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    14. Coulson, N. Edward, 1999. "Sectoral sources of metropolitan growth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 723-743, November.
    15. 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.
    16. Parr, John B., 1985. "A note on the size distribution of cities over time," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 199-212, September.
    17. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2005. "Zipf's Law for cities: a cross-country investigation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 239-263, May.
    18. Vernon Henderson, 1999. "Marshall's Economies," NBER Working Papers 7358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y. & Pines, David, 2000. "Externalities, Indivisibility, Nonreplicability, and Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 509-535, November.
    20. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
    21. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    22. Beardsell, Mark & Henderson, Vernon, 1999. "Spatial evolution of the computer industry in the USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 431-456, February.
    23. 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.
    24. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
    25. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," 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 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
    26. Brezis, Elise S & Krugman, Paul R, 1997. "Technology and the Life Cycle of Cities," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 369-383, December.
    27. Kahn, Matthew E., 1999. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 360-376, November.
    28. Vining, Daniel R, Jr, 1976. "Autocorrelated Growth Rates and the Pareto Law: A Further Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 369-380, April.
    29. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
    31. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    32. Kahn, Matthew E, 2001. "City Quality-of-Life Dynamics: Measuring the Costs of Growth," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2-3), pages 339-352, March-May.
    33. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2003. "Cross-Generation Correlations of Union Status for Young People in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(3), pages 391-415, September.
    2. Michel DIMOU & Alexandra SCHAFFAR & Zhihong CHEN & Shihe FU, 2008. "La Croissance Urbaine Chinoise Reconsidérée," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 27, pages 109-131.
    3. Dan Devroye & Richard B. Freeman, 2001. "Does Inequality in Skills Explain Inequality in Earnings Across Advanced Countries?," NBER Working Papers 8140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Tomoya Mori & Koji Nishikimi & Tony E. Smith, 2002. "Some Empirical Regularities of Spatial Economies: A Relationship between Industrial Location and City Size," KIER Working Papers 551, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Cuberes David, 2009. "A Model of Sequential City Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, May.
    6. Stephen Machin, 2004. "Factors of Convergence and Divergence in Union Membership," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 423-438, September.
    7. Goerlich, Francisco José & Mas, Matilde, 2008. "Sobre el tamaño de las ciudades en España. Dos reflexiones y una regularidad empírica," MPRA Paper 15798, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2008.
    8. 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.
    9. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
    10. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2005. "Zipf's Law for cities: a cross-country investigation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 239-263, May.
    11. Ana Paula Delgado & Isabel Maria Godinho, 2004. "The evolution of city size distribution in Portugal: 1864-2001," FEP Working Papers 151, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    12. Valente J. Matlaba & Mark J. Holmes & Philip McCann & Jacques Poot, 2013. "A Century Of The Evolution Of The Urban System In Brazil," Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 129-151, November.
    13. Cuberes, David, 2007. "A Model of Sequential City Growth," MPRA Paper 2172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Garmestani, Ahjond S. & Allen, Craig R. & Gallagher, Colin M., 2008. "Power laws, discontinuities and regional city size distributions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 209-216, October.
    15. 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.
    16. Jim Foreman & Howard Gospel, 2002. "The Provision of Training in Britain: Case Studies of Inter-Firm Coordination," CEP Discussion Papers dp0555, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    17. Anderson, Gordon & Ge, Ying, 2005. "The size distribution of Chinese cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 756-776, November.
    18. J. Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urbanization and Economic Development," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(2), pages 275-341, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    City size distribution; quality-ladder models of growth; agglomeration economies;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0550. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.