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New evidence on Gibrat’s law for cities

Author

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  • Rafael González-Val

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Luis Lanaspa

    () (Universidad de Zaragoza)

  • Fernando Sanz

    () (Universidad de Zaragoza)

Abstract

The aim of this work is to test empirically the validity of Gibrat’s law on the growth of cities, using data on the complete distribution of cities from three countries (the US, Spain and Italy) for the entire twentieth century. In order to achieve this, we use different techniques. First, panel data unit root tests tend to confirm the validity of Gibrat’s law in the upper-tail distribution. Second, when we consider the entire distribution, we find that Gibrat’s law does not hold exactly in the long term using nonparametric methods that relate the growth rate to the initial city size.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael González-Val & Luis Lanaspa & Fernando Sanz, 2012. "New evidence on Gibrat’s law for cities," Working Papers 2012/18, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:doc2012-18
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Modica & A. Reggiani & P. Nijkamp, 2015. "A Comparative Analysis of Gibrat’s and Zipf’s Law on Urban Population," Working Papers wp1008, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Cura, Robin & Cottineau, Clémentine & Swerts, Elfie & Ignazzi, Cosmo Antonio & Bretagnolle, Anne & Vacchiani-Marcuzzo, Celine & Pumain, Denise, 2017. "The Old and the New: Qualifying City Systems in the World with Classical Models and New Data," SocArXiv pbzn6, Center for Open Science.
    3. Rafael González-Val & Arturo Ramos & Fernando Sanz-Gracia & María Vera-Cabello, 2015. "Size distributions for all cities: Which one is best?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(1), pages 177-196, March.
    4. Rafael Gonz�lez-Val & Arturo Ramos & Fernando Sanz-Gracia, 2013. "The accuracy of graphs to describe size distributions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(17), pages 1580-1585, November.
    5. Stijn Ronsse & Samuel Standaert, 2017. "Combining growth and level data: An estimation of the population of Belgian municipalities between 1880 and 1970," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 218-226, October.
    6. González-Val, Rafael & Lanaspa, Luis & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando, 2013. "Gibrat’s law for cities, growth regressions and sample size," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 367-369.
    7. Rafael Gonz�lez-Val & Luis Lanaspa, 2016. "Patterns in US Urban Growth, 1790-2000," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 289-309, February.
    8. Alen Host & Vinko Zaninović & Petra Adelajda Mirković, 2018. "Firm-level intra-industry links in Croatia’s tourism industry," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 243-262.
    9. Guy Michaels & Ferdinand Rauch & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Urbanization and Structural Transformation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 535-586.
    10. Stijn Ronsse & Samuel Standaert, 2017. "Combining growth and level data: an estimation of the population of Belgian cities between 1880 and 1970," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 17/927, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    11. Vanessa Grüdtner & André M. Marques, 2020. "Is Gibrat's law robust when cities interact each other?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(4), pages 1087-1111, August.
    12. Marco Modica, 2014. "Does the EU have homogeneous urban structure area? The role of agglomeration and the impact of shocks on urban structure," ERSA conference papers ersa14p229, European Regional Science Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gibrat’s law; city size distribution; urban growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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