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Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800)

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  • Rafael González-Val

    () (Universidad de Zaragoza & IEB)

Abstract

This paper analyses the evolution of the European urban system from a long-term perspective (from 1300 to 1800) considering the historical data set of Bairoch et al. (1988). Using the method recently proposed by Clauset et al. (2009), a Pareto-type city size distribution (power law) is rejected from 1300 to 1600. A power law is a plausible model for the city size distribution only in 1700 and 1800, although the log-normal distribution is another plausible alternative model that we cannot reject. Moreover, random growth of cities is rejected using parametric and non-parametric methods. The results reveal a clear pattern of convergent growth in all periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael González-Val, 2016. "Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800)," Working Papers 2016/8, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:doc2016-8
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    City size distribution; power law; Pareto distribution; Zipf’s law; Gibrat’s law;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: 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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