Cities and Countries
If one ranks cities by population, the rank of a city is inversely related to its size, a well-documented phenomenon known as Zipf's Law. Further, the growth rate of a city's population is uncorrelated with its size, another well-known characteristic known as Gibrat's Law. In this paper, I show that both characteristics are true of countries as well as cities; the size distributions of cities and countries are similar. But theories that explain the size-distribution of cities do not obviously apply in explaining the size-distribution of countries. The similarity of city- and country-size distributions is an interesting riddle.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Mark Wright & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004.
"Urban Structure and Growth,"
2004 Meeting Papers
33, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- 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, 2005. "Urban Structure and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2003. "Urban structure and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 141, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
- Nitsch, Volker, 2004.
2004/16, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
- 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.
- Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
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