IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Further Analysis of the Zipf's Law: Does the Rank-Size Rule Really Exist?

  • Fungisai Nota

    ()

    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)

  • Shunfeng Song

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)

The widely-used Zipf’s law has two striking regularities. One is its excellent fit; the other is its close-to-one exponent. When the exponent equals to one, the Zipf’s law collapses into the rank-size rule. This paper further analyzes the Zipf exponent. By changing the sample size, the truncation point, and the mix of cities in the sample, we found that the exponent is close to one only for some selected sub-samples. Small samples of large cities alone provide higher value of the exponent whereas small cities introduce high variance and lower the value of the exponent. Using the values of estimated exponent from the rolling sample method, we obtained an elasticity of the exponent with respect to sample size. We concluded that the rank-size rule is not an economic regularity but a statistical phenomenon.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.business.unr.edu/econ/wp/papers/UNRECONWP07006.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07-006.

as
in new window

Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:07-006
Contact details of provider: Postal: Mail Stop 030, Reno, NV 89557-0207
Phone: (775) 784-6450
Fax: (775) 784-4728
Web page: http://www.business.unr.edu/econ/

More information through EDIRC

Web page: http://www.cabnr.unr.edu/re/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Shunfeng Song & Kevin Honglin Zhang, 2002. "Urbanisation and City Size Distribution in China," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 39(12), pages 2317-2327, November.
  3. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  4. Nitsch, Volker, 2005. "Zipf zipped," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 86-100, January.
  5. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
  6. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  7. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2007. "Rank-1/2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gan, Li & Li, Dong & Song, Shunfeng, 2006. "Is the Zipf law spurious in explaining city-size distributions?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 256-262, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:07-006. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mehmet Tosun)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.