IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Spatial Patterns and Size Distributions of Cities

  • Wen-Tai Hsu

    ()

    (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)

  • Tomoya Mori

    ()

    (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)

  • Tony E. Smith

    ()

    (Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania)

City size distributions are known to be well approximated by power laws across many countries. One popular explanation for such power-law regularities is in terms of random growth processes, where power laws arise asymptotically from the assumption of iid growth rates among all cities within a given country. But this assumption has additional consequences. Since all subsets of cities have the same statistical properties, each subset must exhibit essentially the same power law. Moreover, this common power law (CPL) property must hold regardless of the spatial relations among cities. Using data from the US, this paper shows first that spatial partitions of cities based on geographical proximity are significantly more consistent with the CPL property than are random partitions. It is then shown that this significance becomes even stronger when proximity among cities is measured in terms of trade linkages rather than simple geographical distance. These results provide compelling evidence that spatial relations between cities do indeed matter for city-size distributions. Further analysis shows that these results hinge on the natural “spacing out” property of city patterns in which larger cities tend to be widely spaced apart with smaller cities organized around them.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.kier.kyoto-u.ac.jp/DP/DP882.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research in its series KIER Working Papers with number 882.

as
in new window

Length: 43pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:882
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501
Phone: +81-75-753-7102
Fax: +81-75-753-7193
Web page: http://www.kier.kyoto-u.ac.jp/eng/index.html
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. QUINZII, Martine & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On the optimality of central places," CORE Discussion Papers RP -907, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Hern�n D. Rozenfeld & Diego Rybski & Xavier Gabaix & Hern�n A. Makse, 2011. "The Area and Population of Cities: New Insights from a Different Perspective on Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2205-25, August.
  3. Duranton, Gilles, 2006. "Some foundations for Zipf's law: Product proliferation and local spillovers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 542-563, July.
  4. Yannis Menelaos Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 2003. "Zipf’s law for cities : an empirical examination," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 583, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Yannis M. Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 2000. "Spatial Evolution of the US Urban System," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0018, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  6. Duranton, Gilles & Morrow, Peter & Turner, Matthew A, 2013. "Roads and Trade: Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 9393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Marcus Berliant & Shin-Kun Peng & Ping Wang, 2000. "Production Externalities and Urban Configuration," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0011, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  8. Redding, Stephen J. & Sturm, Daniel M, 2005. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," CEPR Discussion Papers 5015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006. "Urban structure and growth," Staff Report 381, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Behrens, Kristian & Mion, Giordano & Murata, Yasusada & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "Spatial frictions," DICE Discussion Papers 160, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  11. Guy Michaels & Ferdinand Rauch & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Urbanisation and structural transformation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25495, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  13. Gabaix, Xavier & Ibragimov, Rustam, 2011. "Rank − 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Kristina Tobio, 2010. "Cities, skills, and regional change," Economics Working Papers 1255, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2011.
  15. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2005. "Zipf's Law for cities: a cross-country investigation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 239-263, May.
  16. Klaus Desmet & Jordan Rappaport, 2013. "The settlement of the United States, 1800 to 2000: the long transition towards Gibrat's law," Research Working Paper RWP 13-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  17. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Jefferson Duarte, 2002. "Nonparametric Option Pricing under Shape Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 8944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. TABUCHI, Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "A new economic geography model of central places," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2267, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2006. "Log(Rank-1/2): A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2106, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  20. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  21. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  22. Thomas J. Holmes & Sanghoon Lee, 2010. "Cities as Six-by-Six-Mile Squares: Zipf's Law?," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 105-131 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Yuichi Kitamura & Gautam Tripathi & Hyungtaik Ahn, 2001. "Empirical Likelihood-Based Inference in Conditional Moment Restriction Models," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-124, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  24. Ioannides, Yannis & Skouras, Spyros, 2013. "US city size distribution: Robustly Pareto, but only in the tail," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 18-29.
  25. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, 05.
  26. Kristian Giesen & Jens Südekum, 2011. "Zipf's law for cities in the regions and the country," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 667-686, July.
  27. Yoshihiko Nishiyama & Susumu Osada & Yasuhiro Sato, 2008. "OLS ESTIMATION AND THE "t" TEST REVISITED IN RANK-SIZE RULE REGRESSION," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 691-716.
  28. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2010. "Market access and individual wages: evidence from China," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00633785, HAL.
  29. Daniel P. McMillen & Christian L. Redfearn, 2010. "Estimation And Hypothesis Testing For Nonparametric Hedonic House Price Functions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 712-733.
  30. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
  31. Michaels, Guy, 2007. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill - Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," CEPR Discussion Papers 6056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  33. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2007. "Rank-1/2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
  35. Krugman, Paul, 1993. "On the number and location of cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 293-298, April.
  36. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2010. "Market Access and Individual Wages: Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 145-159, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:882. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ryo Okui)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.