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Zipf’s and Gibrat’s laws for migrations

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  • Clemente, Jesús
  • González-Val, Rafael
  • Olloqui, Irene

Abstract

This paper analyses the evolution of the size distribution of the stock of emigrants in the period 1960-2000. Has the distribution of the stock of emigrants changed or has there been some convergence? This is the question discussed in this work. In particular, we are interested in testing the fulfillment of two empirical regularities studied in urban economics: Zipf’s law, which postulates that the product between the rank and size of a population is constant; and Gibrat’s law, witch states that growth rate of a variable is independent of its initial size. We use parametric and non-parametric methods and apply them to absolute (stock of emigrants) and relative (migration density, defined as the quotient between the stock of emigrants of a country and its total population)measurements.

Suggested Citation

  • Clemente, Jesús & González-Val, Rafael & Olloqui, Irene, 2008. "Zipf’s and Gibrat’s laws for migrations," MPRA Paper 9731, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9731
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Overman, Henry G. & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2001. "Cross-Sectional Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 543-566, May.
    2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Borders and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 331-386, December.
    3. Rafael González-Val & Marcos Sanso-Navarro, 2010. "Gibrat’s law for countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1371-1389, September.
    4. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina & Romain Wacziarg, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1276-1296, December.
    5. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
    6. Gilles Duranton, 2007. "Urban Evolutions: The Fast, the Slow, and the Still," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 197-221, March.
    7. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Overman, Henry G., 2003. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, March.
    8. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
    9. Larramona, Gemma & Sanso, Marcos, 2006. "Migration dynamics, growth and convergence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2261-2279, November.
    10. Quah, D., 1990. "Galton'S Fallacy And The Tests Of The Convergence Hypothesis," Working papers 552, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    11. Danny Quah, 1993. "Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis (Now published in Scandinavian Journal of Economics 95 (4), 1993, pp.427-443.)," STICERD - Econometrics Paper Series 265, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    12. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," 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 53, pages 2341-2378, Elsevier.
    13. Andrew K. Rose, 2005. "Cities and Countries," NBER Working Papers 11762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
    15. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    16. Ghatak, Subrata & Levine, Paul & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1996. "Migration Theories and Evidence: An Assessment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 159-198, June.
    17. J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), 2004. "Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    18. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-443, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masood Gheasi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2013. "Special issue on international migration: editorial introduction," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 51(1), pages 1-5, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration distribution; Zipf´s law; Gibrat´s law;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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