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Sequential city growth in the US: does age matter?

  • María Sánchez-Vidal


    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Rafael González-Val


    (Universidad de Zaragoza & IEB)

  • Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal


    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

We provide empirical evidence of the dynamics of city size distribution for the whole of the twentieth century in U.S. cities and metropolitan areas. We focus our analysis on the new cities that were created during the period of analysis. The main contribution of this paper, therefore, is the parametric and nonparametric analysis of the population growth experienced by these new-born cities. Our results enable us to confirm that, when cities appear, they grow very rapidly and, as the decades pass, their growth slows or even falls into decline. This is consistent with the theoretical framework regarding mean reversion (convergence) in the steady state and with the theories of sequential city growth.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2013/1.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2013-1
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  1. Jordan Rappaport & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "The U.S. as a coastal nation," Research Working Paper RWP 01-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  2. Linda Harris Dobkins & Yannis M. Ioannides, 1999. "Spatial Interactions Among U.S. Cities: 1900-1990," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9913, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Kris James Mitchener & Ian W. McLean, 2001. "The Productivity of U.S. States Since 1880," School of Economics Working Papers 2001-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  4. Südekum, Jens & Giesen, Kristian, 2013. "City Age and City Size," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79996, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:587-644 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Kim, Sukkoo & Margo, Robert A., 2004. "Historical perspectives on U.S. economic geography," 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 66, pages 2981-3019 Elsevier.
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  12. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2008. "A century of shocks: The evolution of the German city size distribution 1925-1999," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 330-347, July.
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  18. Cuberes David, 2009. "A Model of Sequential City Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, May.
  19. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2011. "Portage and path dependence," Working Papers 11-38, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  20. Cuberes, David, 2011. "Sequential city growth: Empirical evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 229-239, March.
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  23. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
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