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Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from france and Japan

  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Zvi Eckstein

The relative distribution of the populations of the top 40 urban areas of France and Japan remained very constant during these countries' periods of industrialization and uranization. Moreover, projection of their future distriubtions based on past growth indicates that their size-distributions in steady state will not differ essentially from what they have been historically. Urbanization consequently appears to have taken the form of the parallel growth of cities, rather than of convergence to an optimal city size or the divergent growth of the largest cities. We develop a model of urbanization and growth based on the accumulation of human capital consistent with these observations. Our model predicts that larger cities will have higher levels of human capital, higher rents, and higher wages per worker, even though workers are homogeneous and free to migrate between cities. Cities grow at a common growth rate, with relative city size depending upon the environment that they provide for learning.

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Paper provided by Boston University, Institute for Economic Development in its series Boston University - Institute for Economic Development with number 36.

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Date of creation: Feb 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:bosecd:36
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  1. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  10. Miyao, Takahiro, 1987. "Dynamic urban models," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 877-925 Elsevier.
  11. Robert E Lucas, 1999. "Making a Miracle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2101, David K. Levine.
  12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  13. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical Cross-Section Dynamics in Economic Growth," FMG Discussion Papers dp154, Financial Markets Group.
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  16. Inada, Ken-Ichi, 1969. "Endogenous Technical Progress and Steady Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(105), pages 99-107, January.
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  22. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:327-68 is not listed on IDEAS
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