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Optimal City Hierarchy: A Dynamic Programming Approach to Central Place Theory

  • Wen-Tai Hsu

    (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

  • Thomas J. Holmes

    (University of Minnesota)

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    It is an empirically plausible description of cities and is route to explain empirical regularities in city size distribution and industrial locations. This paper formalizes central place hierarchy by providing a rationale for it via a social planner's problem. The optimal city hierarchy is then compared with the equilibrium city hierarchy in Hsu (2008).

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    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2009/paper_342.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 342.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:342
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

    Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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    1. 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.
    2. Berliant, Marcus & Watanabe, Hiroki, 2009. "Explaining the size distribution of cities: x-treme economies," MPRA Paper 15191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Eaton, B Curtis & Lipsey, Richard G, 1982. "An Economic Theory of Central Places," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 56-72, March.
    4. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    5. Juan Carlos Cordoba, 2003. "On the Distribution of City Sizes," Urban/Regional 0302002, EconWPA.
    6. 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).
    7. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    8. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2003. "Urban structure and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 141, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    9. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Tomoya Mori & Koji Nishikimi & Tony E. Smith, 2008. "The Number-Average Size Rule: A New Empirical Relationship Between Industrial Location And City Size," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 165-211.
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