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Testing for Zipf’s Law: A Common Pitfall


  • Urzúa, Carlos M.

    () (Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de México)


It is noted that the regression procedure commonly used when testing for Zipf’s law is erroneous.

Suggested Citation

  • Urzúa, Carlos M., 2010. "Testing for Zipf’s Law: A Common Pitfall," EGAP Working Papers 2010-04, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de México.
  • Handle: RePEc:ega:docume:201004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alperovich, Gershon, 1984. "The size distribution of cities: On the empirical validity of the rank-size rule," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 232-239, September.
    2. Urzua, Carlos M., 2000. "A simple and efficient test for Zipf's law," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 257-260, March.
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    More about this item


    Zipf’s law; rank-size;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • 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)

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