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Size Distributions for All Cities: Which One is Best?

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  • González-Val, Rafael
  • Ramos, Arturo
  • Sanz, Fernando
  • Vera-Cabello, María

Abstract

This paper analyses in detail the features offered by three distributions used in urban economics to describe city size distributions: lognormal, q-exponential and double Pareto lognormal, and another one of use in other areas of economics: the log-logistic. We use a large database which covers all cities with no size restriction in the US, Spain and Italy from 1900 until 2010, and, in addition, the last available year for the rest of the countries of the OECD. We estimate the previous four density functions by maximum likelihood. To check the goodness of the fit in all periods and for the thirty-four countries we use the Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Cramér-von Mises tests, and compute the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). The results show that the distribution which best fits the data in most of the cases (86.76%) is the double Pareto lognormal.

Suggested Citation

  • González-Val, Rafael & Ramos, Arturo & Sanz, Fernando & Vera-Cabello, María, 2013. "Size Distributions for All Cities: Which One is Best?," MPRA Paper 44314, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44314
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael González-Val, 2016. "Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800)," Working Papers 2016/8, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Miguel Puente-Ajovín & Arturo Ramos, 2015. "On the parametric description of the French, German, Italian and Spanish city size distributions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(2), pages 489-509, March.
    3. Rafael González-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.
    4. Kristian Giesen & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "The Size Distribution Across All 'Cities': A Unifying Approach," SERC Discussion Papers 0122, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    5. Giesen, Kristian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "City age and city size," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 193-208.
    6. Luckstead, Jeff & Devadoss, Stephen & Danforth, Diana, 2017. "The size distributions of all Indian cities," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 474(C), pages 237-249.
    7. Ramos, Arturo, 2015. "Log-growth distributions of US city sizes and non-Lévy processes," MPRA Paper 66561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Wu, Jian-Xin & He, Ling-Yun, 2017. "How do Chinese cities grow? A distribution dynamics approach," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 470(C), pages 105-118.
    9. Rafael González-Val & Arturo Ramos & Fernando Sanz-Gracia, 2014. "A new framework for US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," ERSA conference papers ersa14p633, European Regional Science Association.
    10. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1147-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Devadoss, Stephen & Luckstead, Jeff, 2015. "Growth process of U.S. small cities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 12-14.
    12. Ramos, Arturo, 2015. "Are the log-growth rates of city sizes normally distributed? Empirical evidence for the US," MPRA Paper 65584, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando, 2015. "US city size distribution revisited: Theory and empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 64051, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Calderín-Ojeda, Enrique, 2016. "The distribution of all French communes: A composite parametric approach," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 450(C), pages 385-394.
    15. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando & González-Val, Rafael, 2013. "A new framework for the US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," MPRA Paper 52190, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Marc N. Conte & David L. Kelly, 2016. "An Imperfect Storm: Fat-Tailed Hurricane Damages, Insurance and Climate Policy," Working Papers 2016-01, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    city size distribution; double Pareto lognormal; log-logistic; q-exponential; lognormal;

    JEL classification:

    • C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General

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