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Zipf’s and Gibrat’s laws for migrations

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

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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9731.

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Date of creation: 12 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9731
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Yannis M. Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 1999. "Cross-Sectional Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9926, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  4. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Borders and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 331-386, December.
  5. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," Scholarly Articles 4553029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. González-Val, Rafael & Sanso-Navarro, Marcos, 2008. "Gibrat’s law for countries," MPRA Paper 9733, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Andrew K. Rose, 2005. "Cities and Countries," NBER Working Papers 11762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Y Ioannides & Henry Overman, 2000. "Zipfs Law for Cities: An Empirical Examination," CEP Discussion Papers dp0484, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
  10. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  11. Larramona, Gemma & Sanso, Marcos, 2006. "Migration dynamics, growth and convergence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2261-2279, November.
  12. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  13. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  14. Ghatak, Subrata & Levine, Paul & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1996. " Migration Theories and Evidence: An Assessment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 159-98, June.
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