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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- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007.
"Urban Structure and Growth,"
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- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006. "Urban structure and growth," Staff Report 381, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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- 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.
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