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Task Trade and the Size Distribution of Cities


  • Kohei Nagamachi

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)


   Taking account of the increasing importance of task trade in urban contexts, this paper provides a model of a system of cities in which ex ante identical locations specialize in tasks that differ in their skill intensity, resulting in a unique size distribution of cities. The necessary and sufficient condition for a power law including Zipf's law is derived, and a quantitative analysis shows that the model is consistent with the size distribution of U.S. cities. A welfare analysis is also conducted, suggesting excess agglomeration with sizable welfare loss under laissez-faire.

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  • Kohei Nagamachi, 2013. "Task Trade and the Size Distribution of Cities," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-886, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2013cf886

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    References listed on IDEAS

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